The Greek government is promising urgent inspections of small coastal tankers, 11 days after an oil spill from a shipwreck left beaches on Athens’s coastline polluted and off bounds to swimmers.
The Merchant Marine Ministry says the unscheduled checks will affect Greek-flagged fuel tankers plying domestic waters, which are usually older and less stringently monitored than international shipping.
The announcement Thursday comes in the wake of the September 10 sinking of the Agia Zoni II tanker – at anchor in calm waters – off the island of Salamina next to Greece’s main port of Piraeus, with 2,500 tons of fuel on board.
Authorities failed to contain the ensuing leakage, which polluted parts of a 40-kilometer (25-mile) line of coastline that includes the Greek capital’s most popular beaches. [AP]