Two tankers approach to resume pumping oil from ‘Agia Zoni II’

The oil tankers “Aegean Breeze 1” and “Siros” on Friday approached the sunken vessel “Agia Zoni II” in order to resume the recovery of oil still contained in its tanks, which had stopped over the last two days.

Sources said the two ships belong to different shipping companies, with one applying to pump the oil as oil residues and the other as cargo. Authorities have not yet announced whether pumping will begin immediately, while sources noted that some 300 cubic metres of mixed petroleum products have collected around the floating crane at the site where the “Agia Zoni II” has sunk.

The recovery of oil from the sunken tanker had previously been undertaken by the tanker “Lassea” but the work stopped after the ship’s certificates expired and an inspection revealed that it had quantities of undeclared mixed petroleum products in its ballast tanks.

The captain and first engineer on “Lassea” were arrested and charged with customs violations and their trial started on Thursday.

The sinking of the “Agia Zoni II” southwest of Atalanti caused a major oil spill in the Saronic Gulf, which could not be contained before it had spread to the island of Salamina, the coastal suburbs of Piraeus and a significant stretch of the Athens ‘Riviera’ on the southern coast of Attica.