A few days ago, the gigantic operation of pumping out the oil from the sunken vessel Sea Diamond at Santorini Port was successfully completed. The cruise ship remains at the bottom of the island for two years now, after it hit a charted rock in April 2007 while at the port of Santorini.
The operation was organized by special vessels hired to pump the remaining oil and other polluting and dangerous substances from the shipwreck; the special vessel Vos Satisfaction of the company Dronik Maritime Consultans and highly experienced divers and personnel managed to pump out approximately 929 cubic meters of water and oil, while the solid amount of oil is considered to be approximately 155 c.m. A special satellite directed the boat and the divers, coordinating with precision the entire operation.
The operation lasted for four weeks, one more than it was initially estimated, and Vos Satisfaction left Santorini on June 14th. The cost of the operation mounted to over 5,5 million Euros. The Customs Officers of Santorini have confirmed both the expenses and the amount of oil pumped.
Although the operation is completed, a vessel of the Technical Protection of The Environment remains in the area, guarding the area in case of possible leak. The vessel has specific orders to clean the waters if any leakage or spilling is observed.
Although two years had passed since April 2007, the shipwreck remains at the bottom of the island; the residents and business owners in Santorini have been campaigning all this time now, demanding the clean up of the waters, fearing that fuel remaining in the vessel would leak out and pollute the waters of the island. Sea Diamond has been a toxic depth bomb for the island. They have expressed their concern not only because of the environmental issues, but also because the island of Santorini and the tourism authorities have been internationally defamed.
Now, after the pump out of the oil, the locals aim at finding a solution regarding the hulk that remains outside the port of Santorini.