Grande America: “more efficient” recovery operations

Wednesday's weather enabled “more effective” pollution recovery operations than the previous days in the sinking of the Italian ship Grande America, the Atlantic Maritime prefecture said in a statement.

“Pollution recovery operations become more efficient under mild weather,” said the statement, adding that a new “container of non-hazardous material” could be recovered and that “two flights of aerial observations were made “this Wednesday.

At the vertical of the wreck, in the Bay of Biscay, “a surface iridescence dotted with piles of heavy fuel oil is still visible”, according to the maritime prefecture. “The initial pollution emitted by the Great America on the date of its sinking (…) has drifted and consists of small clumps of oil scattered that produce a lot of surface iridescence,” she adds.

An arrival on the French coast of pollution following this sinking “seems very unlikely before 10 days,” said Tuesday evening the Maritime Prefecture.

The Great America sank on March 12 to 333 km west of La Rochelle by 4.600 meters bottom after a violent fire. It had on board 365 containers, 45 of which were listed as containing hazardous materials, more than 2,000 vehicles, and 2,200 tonnes of heavy fuel oil in its holds. Its 27 occupants were rescued and brought back to Brest, where an accidental pollution investigation was opened.

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