Posted on December 31, 2018 by Ilias Kiritsis
Maltese-flagged oil tanker, Athlos, caught on fire and ran aground near the southern coast of Cyprus, at approximately 9:30am local time, in the morning of Saturday the 29th of December.
The vessel was transiting off the coast of Larnaca when an explosion onboard the vessel caused a fire.
Several members of the crew were thrown overboard as a result of the explosion.
5 crew members were rescued from the sea, with 2 suffering extensive burns, requiring immediate hospitalisation.
Following a distress call from the vessel, marine police, a tug boat and a helicopter were immediately deployed at the scene.
“Five members of the crew were collected by the rescue services and transferred to hospital. The ship was 1 nautical mile east from Zygi fishing shelter at 200 meters from the coast and was not carrying dangerous cargo,It had sailed to Cyprus with 17 crew (7 Greeks, 9 Indians and 1 Georgian) and was due to depart for Greece on December 29,” said in a statement, the Cyprus Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC).
The crew was then taken to Lammasol hospital were they received treatment for their injuries.
Two crewmen suffered between 30% and 70% burns across their body, while three others showed symptoms of hypothermia.
According to JRCC, the remaining crew onboard the vessel managed to put out the fire, but the tanker had started listing as a result of the incident, some 200 metres off the fishing village of Zygi.
Athlos was not carrying any cargo at the time of the explosion, and was filled with 100 tonnes of fuel, solely for its own use.
Local authorities have sent out boats to contain any potential oil spill, but so far it doesn’t seem like any environmental pollution has taken place.