Collision of ships off Corsica: the pollution zone has spread
The tablecloth of pollution caused by the escape of fuel oil following the collision of two ships Sunday in the north of Corsica extended, announced the maritime prefect of the Mediterranean the day after the extrication of the two boats.
Thursday evening the Tunisian ship Ulysses had freed from the Cypriot container ship Virginia that had struck Sunday to the northwest of the cape Corsica in the extraterritorial waters.
“What is left in the hold number 3 Virginia, about 100 m3 of diesel, did not spill, there is no overpollution,” said the maritime prefect, Vice Admiral Charles-Henri de the Faverie du Che, at a press conference in Toulon.
“The slight over-pollution linked to the opening up of the Ulysses is under control because it is surrounded by the dam that we had preventively put in place,” he added.
Nevertheless, the fight against pollution “is not over since with the wind and the current the different pollution zones have spread out,” said the prefect, evoking “three large areas that each extend 25 km”.
“We have a weather window that is favorable until at least Sunday, after it is less safe,” he said assuring that “no coast in the coming 2-3 days” was threatened “.
Wednesday, the prefect had evaluated 200 m3 the pollution layer consisting of propellant fuel oil, “quite heavy and viscous” escaped from the tanks of the container carrier. Nearly 150 m3 of hydrocarbon / seawater mixture had been recovered in the evening.
Friday night, the maritime prefecture announced that the weather has “enabled an efficient work”, adding that all means now focused on pumping thick fuel pockets surrounded by areas of iridescence.
The State services, warned the prefecture, keep “accurate accounting of the costs incurred in this operation for a claim for reimbursement from shipowners.”
The Ulysses, whose owner has obtained confirmation that his condition allowed to sail, set sail for a Tunisian port on Friday. “The Virginia vessel remains at anchor with an anti-pollution boom around her breach and it is now up to her shipowner to take the necessary measures for her transit to a shipyard,” the prefecture added.
As a result, the maritime prefect announced the end of mission of the intervention team of the Navy, deployed since Sunday.