On September 10, the 91 meter long, 3205 dwt tanker Agia Zoni II sank in the Saronic Gulf off the island of Salamina, Greece. The tanker had departed from Aspropyrgos distilleries with 2200 tons of fuel oil and 370 tons of marine gas. While at anchor in calm conditions, the tanker suffered water ingress in the vessel’s engine room. The Agia Zoni II sank a short time later. No reports of injuries. The vessel’s master and engineer on board were arrested, but later released by authorities pending trial for negligence.
Authorities sent divers to confirm the tanker holds had been sealed, but a large oil slick had been released. The slick washed ashore along the island of Salamina and the coast along southern Athens. Reports state some 20 kilometers of beaches are polluted and local authorities have banned swimming and fishing in the area. Vessels and environmental crews had been dispatched by authorities to help clean up the pollution. Reports state the cleanup has been slow and may require up to 25 days to be completed.
Reports state the Agia Zoni II lacked the certificates of seaworthiness. The vessel had undergone some repairs before it departed, but several reports state the repairs were insufficient and improperly done. Statements such as the vessel had “gaping holes” in the engine room suggests the tanker lacked the structural integrity to be allowed to leave port. Additionally, reports state the vessel lacked a full crew. The Agia Zoni II typically would have a crew of 11 persons, but on its final voyage the tanker just had 2 crew on board. This could suggest that many crew decided not to serve on board the tanker knowing it wouldn’t stay afloat.
Greek authorities have launched an investigation into the incident.
On August 27, the 114 meter long, 3348 dwt bulk carrier Leonardo broke-in-two and sank on the Black Sea off Kilyos, Turkey. The Leonardo was en route to Istanbul to undergo repairs at the Tuzla shipyard. The vessel was waiting at anchor off Kilyos when it suffered a structural failure. A large crack developed amidships and the vessel began to hog. The Leonardo sent out a distress call and the 11 crew on board were rescued by the Coast Security General Directorate and the Coast Guard. No reports of injuries.
The crack increased in size and eventually the vessel broke-in-two. The forward section of the Leonardo drifted away from the stern, filled with water after several hours and eventually sank. The stern section was taken under tow and taken to the shoreline where it was driven aground in order to avoid it from sinking. Conditions prevented from emptying the fuel tanks on board immediately. It would take a few additional days before salvage operations could reach the tanks and begin removal of the fuel.
Additional information about the vessels sunk by Hurricane Harvey. The Coast Guard has released photos of the towboats Sabine Pass, Sandy Point and Belle Chasse which were in Lydia Ann Channel near Port Aransas, Texas when the hurricane struck. Two vessels, Sabine Pass and Sandy Point, were washed ashore while the Belle Chasse sunk in the Lydia Ann Channel. Each towboat had 2 empty barges which broke free during the hurricane. The barges now rest high and dry on the bank near the channel. No reports of injuries as all 11 crew had been safely evacuated.
Salvage efforts have been started including refloating the of the drillship Paragon DPDS 1 and other vessels sunk or aground near Port Aransas or Corpus Christi, Texas.