Fears Rise Over Marine Pollution After Turkish Shipwreck
Fears are rising over potential marine pollution after a Turkish cargo ship carrying 1,700 tons of fertiliser sank off the coast of Samos.
The ship sank over a deep marine trench, and the deeper the water, the more likely the fertiliser will be dispersed. But according to Econews.gr, Greek researcher Anastasia Miliou said that the wreck is not harmless and sensitive marine ecosystems will be impacted.
The risk level cannot be assessed until the exact type of fertiliser is confirmed, but international experience shows that similar wrecks added significant pollution to marine ecosystems, said Miliou.
The Dogu Haslaman sank on December 28th after water entered its engine room. The ship was abandoned by its 12-member crew and rescued by a nearby Turkish ship after refusing assistance from a Greek rescue helicopter. The crew decided to wait for Turkish rescuers, causing considerable delays with their non-cooperation, delays which may contribute to environmental damage as the opportunity to tow the ship to a nearby port was lost.
Two of the crew reportedly died of heart attacks on the way to hospital, says a report by Maritime Bulletin.
The whole incident was watched by the Greek navy at a discreet distance, reported ERT.
The ship was en route to Israel from the Ukraine with a cargo of nitrates, and so far there have been no confirmed reports of environmental damage. Considering the cargo was fertiliser, however, it's likely that there will be damage.
Ammonium nitrates can cause significant contamination to groundwater and soil and have a serious impact on human health.
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