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Rotterdam Officials Assess Oil Spill Damage on Saronic Gulf

A team of city officials and experts from the port city of Rotterdam recently arrived in Athens to assess the damage caused by the massive oil spill on the coastline along the Saronic Gulf and support the cleanup operation.

Rotterdam Port vessel inspector Eric Lange proposed a number of methods to contain the oil spill and reduce the impact on the environment. According to a report by “To Vima” newspaper these include:
– The installment of large absorption tanks, which can stay underwater for a long period of time
– The installment of vertical underwater absorption barriers (booms)
– The use of special oil skimmers and oil spill detection radars
– The use of high-pressure hot water to clean up the shoreline
– Beaches covered by sand and gravel should be flushed with water in a depth of at least 50 cm
– A Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle (ROV) or a sonar should be used to detect possible oil spills at the bottom of the sea.

The head of the Rotterdam delegation and Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis visited the coast of Alimos, which is among the areas mostly affected. “It needs a lot of work but this particular beach could be cleaned-up in half a day,” Lange said on Monday, adding that it usually takes a few weeks to confirm whether there is any oil left in the area, depending on the weather conditions.

Kaminis said that there are currently many people working on the coastline to restore the damage, including volunteers. “It needs a lot more work and special equipment in certain areas, depending on whether the surface is covered by rocks or sand,” he said.

Salamina, Photo Source: WWF Hellas / Giorgos Lialios

Salamina, Photo Source: WWF Hellas / Giorgos Lialios

“The City of Athens is willing to participate in the cleaning process with volunteers,” he added, while he congratulated the local authorities for the efforts being made and thanked the Rotterdam representatives and mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb in particular, for immediately responding to his request for assistance.

Kaminis was also accompanied by Alimos Mayor Andreas Kondylis and Hellinikon-Argyroupoli city council president Ioannis Tsarpalis.

According to the latest updates, approximately 1,500 m3 of oil have been pumped out of the Agia Zoni II tanker, which sunk of the coast of Salamina. Ministry measurements have found that the sea condition at the beaches of Paleo Faliro, Glyfada, Agios Kosmas and Kavouri is “steady” or “improved”.

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