Oil sheen on water by Massachusetts Dept of Environmental Protection

Israel expands list of ships suspected of causing environmental disaster

Israel’s environment minister has stressed that the search for the perpetrators of the environmental disaster in Israel continues. The authorities initially had about ten vessels in their sights that may have been involved, but have now significantly expanded the list.

‘We are doing everything possible to find the criminal,’ the Minister said. The vessel responsible may have been some fifty kilometres from the coast on 11 February.

Tar washed up on beaches between Gaza and Lebanon this month. This is a coastal area of approximately 160 kilometres in length. According to environmental organisations, it could take years to clean up everything. Thousands of volunteers and soldiers are cleaning beaches and trying to rescue animals.

Also read: Israel hunts for ship that spilled oil and smeared beaches

Oil tanker Minerva Helen

The Israeli authorities first suspected the Greek oil tanker Minerva Helen, but it was later determined it had nothing to do with the environmental disaster. This was the conclusion of the Israeli authorities after an inspection of the ship, which was moored in a port near Athens. An Israeli team had been given permission to go on board and carried out a ‘thorough investigation’.

The owner of the Minerva Helen had already emphasised that he had nothing to do with the situation in Israel.

Source: ANP

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.