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.