Hotspots and Incidents » Disasters, catastrophes
Author`s name Michael Simpson

Ecological Disaster Hits the White Sea

A rescue team of the JSC Northern Steam Navigation managed to see what a commission consisting of the regional administration officials and ecologists failed to notice from a plane 
The NOMKA news agency of Pomorye got hold of this scary picture from the crew of the Metel rescue boat which is part of an expeditionary team for rescue and underwater operations from JSC Northern Steam Navigation. On Sunday, September 7 the boat returned from an inspection trip to Onezhskaya Bay of the White Sea where oil had got spilt on September 1. PRAVDA.Ru already reported about the incident; it was believed that it won't be that tragic, but unfortunately it is.

Official information circulated on Friday reported that all information about the incident in Onezhskaya Bay had been collected and no problems, including ecological ones were discovered. Judging by the evidence the boat crew collected at the incident site, it would apprear these officials spoke too soon. The rescue team managed to see what a commission consisting of the regional administration officials and ecologists failed to notice from a plane in which inspected the territory. The rescuers have arrived at a sad conclusion: the situation in Onezhskaya Bay of the White Sea is very much like an ecological catastrophe. When the team was still in the city of Arkhangelsk, they tried to calculate probable directions in which the spilt oil might drift. And the calculations proved to be correct as the rescue team saw petroleum balls in the sea water. Director of the navigation safety department at JSC Northern Steam Navigation Valery Zaripov says that an approximate size of the contaminated area is about 18 nautical miles. Local citizens say that they find dead navaga fish; people from the village of Purnema, the capes of Vei-Navolok and Usolya often find dead birds. This sad situation could have been averted if the Volgatanker company, the owner of the ill-fated tanker, had informed about the accident immediately. Unfortunately, they informed about the oil spilt just in four days. PRAVDA.Ru has learnt that a source that informed news agencies about the ecological catastrophe has started dealing with top officials to investigate the case. What is to come next?