Pollution from small vessel that sank in Tallinn Bay impossible to clean

The Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) and the Rescue Board on Sunday continued efforts to contain pollution leaking from a small vessel that had sunk the day before. As the pollution layer is very thin, it cannot be cleaned up.

Tago Trei, chief of operations for the PPA, explained that the weather and high waves made it impossible to install pollution booms before the dark on Saturday.

Working with the rescue board, the PPA pollution control vessel Paju continued laying the booms on Sunday and the pollution area had been largely cordoned off by the afternoon.

Trei told ERR that strong wind was still causing some of the pollution to be washed over the booms and that it is possible some of it will reach the shore. "West wind means the pollution is moving toward the western coast of Paljassaare. It has not made landfall yet, while it remains a possibility.

Initial information suggests the vessel was carrying 12 tons of fuel some of which got burned up in the fire and some remained in its fuel tank. It is unclear how much of it could have leaked.

Trei said that effort are complicated by the pollution layer being so thin as to be impossible to clean up, while the booms are keeping it from spreading over a wider area. "It is possible such a thin film will scatter by itself," he said.

Trei said that the vessel will remain in the area to contain and monitor pollution.

The PPA Maritime Rescue Center was notified of a boat in trouble just off Tallinn at 3.39 p.m. on Saturday. Initial information suggested the vessel had experienced a technical malfunction. Soon after, the boat caught on fire. The vessel sank at 6.20 p.m. 


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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