Oil Spill in the Black Sea
A rescue effort to save missing seamen was begun on Monday in the northern section of the Black Sea following a storm that sank up to 10 ships and opened an oil tanker, the Christian Science Monitor reported.
The ships were shipwrecked on Sunday in the Kerch Strait that separates Ukraine and Russia. At least 1,300 tons of fuel were spilled when the oil tanker broke in the storm.
There is concern over the environmental effects and the maritime safety and measures should be taken to prevent future disasters, the Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich said. Double hulls should be used on the ships, he said.
7,150 tons of sulfur were also dumped into the strait from at least four freighters that sank. The sulfur may be more dangerous to the environment than the oil, Sergei Baranovsky, president of the Green Cross environmental group, said.
The oil tanker that sank was build during Soviet times and not built for the severe storm conditions and the captains were warned about the storm., Maxim Stepanenko, a regional prosecutor, said.
"In Russia we do not have 100 percent of our ships maintained in a suitable condition as is the practice in the West," said Alexei Kiselyov, coordinator of Greenpeace Russia's antipollution campaigns.
Oleg Mitvol, deputy head of Russia's environment agency, said, "This problem may take a few years to solve."
National Geographic reported that on Monday three sailors bodies were recovered from a freighter that sank. Their bodies washed up near the island of Tuzla.
Rescuers are still looking for five others. 13 crew members have been successfully rescued, authorities said.
This article states that around 1.3 million gallons of oil spilled into the strait.