Gash in hull of sunken oil tanker raises further questions

Nearly three months after fuel tanker Agia Zoni II (IMO 7126152) sank off the island of Salamina, generating an oil spill that affected a large proportion of the so-called Athens Riviera, examination of the vessel has established the existence of a large gash in her hull.

The vessel was lifted out of the sea and towed to Salamina last week. Experts involved in the recovery of the Agia Zoni II did not rule out the possibility that the ship sustained the damage through hitting rocks while she was sinking.

The owner of the AGIA ZONI, Thodoris Kountouris, has insisted that the vessel had been entirely seaworthy and sank due to foul play. He reportedly has asked an independent expert investigate how the vessel sustained the 1.5 metre breach.

The chief engineer of the Agia Zoni II, one of only two crew members on the vessel when she sank, claimed in his deposition to have heard a noise just before the ship started foundering, “as if the engine room door slammed shut.”

Those who incurred losses due to the pollution caused by the sinking will receive compensation, following the approval earlier this month of funding by the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds. The oil slick covered more than 20km, stretching from Piraeus to the southern coast of Athens.

1972-built, Greece-flagged, 1,521 Agia Zoni II is owned and managed by Agia Zoni II Shipping Co of Piraeus, Greece. It had previously been recorded as entered with Lodestar on behalf of Agia Zoni II, but no longer appears as such on databases.

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