Castor Is Now Clean

Thursday, February 08, 2001
Salvors working in open seas have managed to safely discharge a petrol cargo from a damaged Cypriot tanker in the Mediterranean, averting the risk of an environmental disaster. The salvage operation on the Castor, which has been sailing off Malta with a long crack on its deck, was completed on Thursday. All 29,500 tons of unleaded gasoline were successfully discharged. "The ship is now due to be towed to Pireaus. Once it gets there the damage will be assessed," said Andreas Constantinou of the Cyprus Department of Merchant Shipping (DMS). The 18,565 gross ton Castor developed a 60 ft. crack above one of its petrol deposits after it was damaged in a storm in the western Mediterranean on December 31 while sailing from Ukraine to Lagos, Nigeria. The Greek-owned vessel, registered in Limassol, had approached Spain, Morocco and Gibraltar in search of calm waters in which to discharge the cargo. It was turned away each time for fear that sparks from a salvage operation could trigger an explosion and environmental disaster. - (Reuters)

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