Posted on March 14, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis

The Italian ConRo, Grande America sunk in the Bay of Biscay following the disastrous fire that ravaged the vessel on March 12th. French authorities are on high alert following the incident, due to reports of a 10km long oil slick that is expected to hit the southwest coast of France over the weekend.

According to French authorities, an oil slick measuring 10 km long and 1km wide has been spotted in the vicinity of the sunken vessel, a day after its sinking.

The oil slick was first discovered by a French Navy Maritime Patrol aircraft that had been on a recon mission in the area, and was later confirmed by the response vessel, VN Sapeur which had been operating in the region.

Following the discovery of the oil slick, France’s Atlantic Maritime Prefecture ordered the anti-pollution vessel, Argonaute, which had been docked in Brest at the time, to immediately depart for the affected region and begin containment and clean-up operations.

However, further complicating the situation, is the fact that the vessel had been carrying a number of containers listed as containing hazardous materials.

More specifically, out of the 365 containers aboard the sunken ConRo, 45 include hazardous materials.

Local authorities believe that most of them managed to burn during the fire, but there is the possibility that several containers might have fallen overboard before the ship sank.

French Maritime authorities have sought the assistance of the European Agency for Maritime Safety (EMSA) in order to help combat the potential environmental disaster.


Read the original story HERE.

Posted in Pollution , Environment , Safety , France , Europe

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