Greeks Rush to Contain Sea Diamond Oil Spill

April 11, 2007

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Cleanup crews are working to avert a major oil spill that would threaten the coastline of Santorini, a popular Eastern Mediterranean cruise port. As much as 100 tons of oil has already leaked into the Aegean Sea from Louis Cruise Lines' sunken Sea Diamond, according to CNN.

At this point, the operation is going well and engineers have expressed hope that an environmental disaster can be prevented. Vassilis Mamaloukas, the leader of the cleanup operation, tells CNN that oil is continuing to leak, but is largely contained. However, a change in weather could complicate things: "Our priority is to pump the oil from the source of the leak, because it is difficult to control oil from a leak from such a depth. If the weather conditions are not favorable, we may lose that control."

Sea Diamond is lying on its starboard side 320 ft. below the surface of the water in a sea-filled volcanic crater. The unmanned submersible that was deployed yesterday to search for two missing French passengers will also photograph the vessel's position and determine whether it is safe for Navy divers to enter the wreck.

--by Melissa Baldwin, Senior Editor