Twenty years after it sank off Paros, causing the loss of 81 lives, the Express Samina ferry is to be lifted off the seabed following reports of a fresh leak.
The leakage was reportedly provoked by a crack in a section of the wreck which is at a depth of 20 meters.
“The quantities are small, chiefly pieces of tar which float to the surface and melt under the sun,” the island’s mayor, Markos Kovaios, said, adding that vessels are cleaning up the leakage. A floating barrier has been set up around the area.
Kovaios said tests have shown the water to be safe for swimming. He met in Athens earlier this week with Shipping Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis, who assured him that authorities would raise the Samina.
There is some red tape to be dealt with first. Maritime lawyers say Greece must sign two international treaties relating to the transport of dangerous substances and the recovery of sunken vessels.