- The leak is larger than previously observed, according to the Finnish Border Guard.
- Estonia’s coast is not in great danger, the Environmental Board says.
- The wreck is currently being investigated.
The Finnish media reported on Sunday that the wreck of MS Estonia in the bottom of the Baltic Sea has begun to leak more oil than previously. According to the Environmental Board, this does not pose a great hazard to the Estonian coast.
The Finnish press relayed on Sunday the Finnish Border Guard report that the wreck of MS Estonia has begun to leak oil. Smaller leaks from the wreck have been observed before but this time it is clearly larger.
The Western Finland Coast Guard believes that it is light fuel oil, the Finnish national broadcasting corporation YLE announced. Samples of the leaking oil have been taken to verify the matter.
If the leak should continue, antipollution measures will be taken, but light fuel oil is not easy to remove because it evaporates quickly and mixes with seawater, the Border Guard Board told the Iltalehti daily.
Rainer Vakra, Director General of the Environmental Board, said that they had heard hints about small fuel leakages during the investigation of the wreck of MS Estonia. The wreck itself is in international waters and the events there are under the control of the Finnish authorities.
“Fortunately, light oil products are usually not that dangerous. They dissolve more easily. Contudo, it is important to constantly monitor every possible hazard. The potential risk of pollution of distant coasts, including the Estonian coast, is low,” Vakra said.
The wreck is being investigated by the Estonian Safety Investigation Bureau and the Swedish Accident Investigation Authority in order to document the wreck of the ferry and to produce a 3D model of the vessel.
The Estonian Safety Investigation Bureau and the Swedish Accident Investigation Authority left for the site of the sinking of MS Estonia on Tuesday to carry out a photogrammetric survey. Postimees inquired the Safety Investigation Bureau about the pollution but its head Rene Arikas is presently at sea and had no time to answer the question.
The ship used in the investigation is the Netherlands research vessel Vos Sweet. The same ship was recently used for laser scanning of the wreck. The photogrammetric study will take approximately two weeks.
The purpose of the investigation is to document the wreck photographically and to use photogrammetry to produce its 3D model. After the investigation in June the acquired data will be processed and the photogrammetry results will be released in September.
MS Estonia was lost in late September 1994. The disaster took 852 lives.