Greek Tanker Was Minutes Away from Gulf of Finland Disaster - Finnish Daily

Photo: Reuters/Scanpix
7/4/2013 2:41 PM
Category: Environment

Last October, Finnish authorities diverted a Greek tanker minutes away from shallow waters near Hogland (Suursaar) island 50 kilometers of the coast of Estonia.

Helsingin Sanomat reported today that had the Finnish authorities not intervened, the tanker would have caused the region's biggest ever environmental catastrophe.

The Greek vessel was carrying 100,000 tons or 32 million gallons of crude oil, a similar volume to the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989.

According to the daily, experts calculated that the tanker was seven minutes away from reaching the shallow waters before Finnish authorities called the bridge, and disaster was averted only due to the speed of the tanker, as older ships would have not been able to react as quickly.

In 2007, another Greek tanker, also carrying 100,000 tons of crude oil, received minor hull damage in the same area.

A new ship routing system for the Gulf of Finland is now in operation, guiding ships around the shallow waters.


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