Wreck has no adverse effects on Santorini water quality, expert says

The marine environment off the coast of Santorini has not been adversely affected by the 2007 sinking of the Sea Diamond cruise ship, a study by the Hellenic Center for Maritime Research (HCMR) concluded on Tuesday.

Speaking on Skai televition, HCMR researcher Ioannis Hadzianestis, who is heading the team in charge of submitting the final report on the effects of the wreck, made assurances that water samples taken off the coast of the town of Oia, where the Sea Diamond sank, were well above satisfactory, adding that samples of fish in the area were also negative for elevated traces of heavy metals.

The Sea Diamond sank just a few hundred meters off the coast of Santorini in April 2007 after hitting a rocky outcrop. Two people died in the wreck, which contained around 450 tons of fuel.

The precarious position of the wreck had hampered clean up efforts, as there were concerns that trying to raise the Sea Diamond or to pump the fuel from its tanks may cause a leakage.

The fuel was eventually pumped by a private company on commission from the cruise ship?s operator, Louis Cruise Lines, at a cost of $6 million. The wreck remains at the bottom of the sea and is surrounded by protective netting.