Saronic Gulf cleaned up, safe for swimming

Saronic Gulf cleaned up, safe for swimming

There have been no serious environmental consequences from the sinking of the Agia Zoni II oil tanker off the island of Salamina last fall, according to Deputy Shipping Minister Nektarios Santorinios.

Speaking during the presentation on Friday of a report by the Hellenic Center for Marine Research (ELKETHE) to a parliamentary committee, Santorinios said that the pollution in the area had been cleaned up and did not damage the environment.

Hundreds of tons of fuel leaked into the sea when the aging tanker sank in the Saronic Gulf last September, prompting authorities to prohibit swimming along several kilometers of coastline south of Athens.

“The major repercussions [of the spill] were limited to Salamina, Glyfada and Elliniko [both in southern Athens],” said ELKETHE head Spryros Mavrakos, adding that these areas were affected by the oil spill for three months.

He stressed, however, that “the current situation is more or less the same as that before the shipwreck.”

Earlier this month, the Health Ministry lifted a ban on swimming in the sea along a part of the Attica coastline stretching from Piraeus to beyond Glyfada. 

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