The mobilization of the Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy Minister, Mr. Giannis Plakiotakis and Ministry’s relevant departments as well as of the Marine Environment Directorate regarding the cargo ship “SEA BIRD” incident was immediate. The ship was bearing the flag of Togo and the incident took place in Myrtoan Sea, east of Peloponnese and more specifically in the sea area 0.2 nautical miles northeast of the islet “KARAVI”. The ship was en route from Ukraine to Tunisia carrying 7,000 tons of wheat and about 150 tons of fuel, while all 16 crew members were rescued by the Greek Coast Guard.
From the early hours of August 28th and under the excellent coordination of the Ministry and the Coast Guard, the members of the Hellenic Shipowners’ Association of Tugs, Salvage, Antipollution and OSVs were immediately mobilized to limit the marine pollution from fuel spills. Six specialized tugs/salvage vessels with anti-pollution equipment (dams, skimmers, pumps, absorbent materials, diving equipment, etc.) rushed to the casualty area as early as Saturday morning, contributing significantly in the antipollution efforts of the Coast Guard.
The tugs involved in the operation are the following (Tug/Company):
- DOLPHIN I / Megatugs Salvage & Towage
- ΜΕΓΑΛΟΧΑΡΗ XIV / Megatugs Salvage & Towage
- CHRISTOS XXVII / Spanopoulos
- ECO PIRAEUS / Antipollution
- AEGIS I / Environmental Protection Engineering
- ΑΚΤΑΙΑ / Environmental Protection Engineering
While auxiliary boats were operating in the area as well.
In the early hours of August 29, both aerial (using drone) and sea inspections began, in order to identify oil spills and make an efficient allocation of resources. During the inspections, extensive oil spills were identified up to 7 miles south of the wreck position. The vessels were then placed in such a way as to cover at the same time the largest possible area by dropping and pulling dams, collecting oil from the sea surface using a skimmer and skimmer vessel and absorbent materials.
At the same time, in full cooperation and coordination with the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy and the port authorities, aerial and sea inspections continue, on a daily basis and with uninterrupted intensity, as well as the collection of oil from the sea surface in the coming days. Meanwhile, an inspection of the neighboring coasts is already planned for any pollution findings.
The Hellenic Shipowners’ Association of Tugs, Salvage, Antipollution and OSVs was founded in 1980 and, since its establishment, it is steadily developing and has become the most prominent and reliable representative of Greek owners of tugs, salvage, antipollution and OSVs. The mission of the Association is the preservation, promotion, protection and development of any kind of the members’ interests in a context of healthy competition. The Association has been following all the international developments, mainly, through its participation in the European Tugowners Association (ETA) and the International Salvage Union (ISC).
The main objective of the Association’s members is to provide services for the protection of human life, the marine environment, ships and facilities. Simultaneously, the members are active at a global level and have extensive and high level of know-how, due to their participation in a variety of projects both in the national and international level. The Association’s members offer their services to more than 8,000 ships annually.