NEWS

Eurobulker X sinking due to decay, load

The report noted that the Ukrainian captain lacked any formal qualifications. The Greek-owned Eurobulker X freighter that broke in half while loading cement and sank between the island of Evia and Attica last September, causing one of the worst environmental disasters in the area, was completely unseaworthy and should never have been allowed to sail, a 15-month investigation has shown. An official report compiled by two naval engineers described the 26-year-old vessel’s general condition as ranging from average to poor, while parts of it were almost completely decayed. The report, excerpts of which were published in yesterday’s Ethnos daily, was forwarded last week to the Halkis prosecutor’s office. The Cambodian-flagged Eurobulker X – which belongs to shipowner Stavros Ilias and was managed by Arrow Finance Inc – sank in the Bay of Lefkandi, just south of Halkis in central Evia, on September 1, 2000. Ukrainian seaman Vladimir Krasulnikov, 49, was killed while the remaining 15 officers and crew were saved. Hundreds of tons of fuel and lubricants seeped out of the sunken vessel’s tanks, covering at least 15 kilometers of coastline in northern Attica with black sludge, much of which is still in evidence. The report noted that «the management and operation of the Eurobulker X was most careless… possibly motivated by the desire to make the greatest possible profit.» The naval engineers found that the metal hull in the lower decks was 30-40 percent decayed and should have been replaced, while the upper ballast tanks were 50-100 percent decayed. Furthermore, they said, the Halkis Cement team loading 32,031 tons of cement onto the Eurobulker X had broken international regulations by concentrating the cargo mid-ship and leaving outlying holds empty.