Strong winds delay draining of oil from shipwreck off Bulgarian coast

Strong winds on September 10 caused the postponement of an operation to drain heavy fuel oil from the shipwreck of the Mopang off Bulgaria’s southern Black Sea coast near Sozopol.

US vessel the Mopang was sunk by a sea mine in 1921, while en route from Bourgas to Istanbul, and in August 2018 was found to be the source of slicks of heavy fuel oil leaking from it.

On the morning of September 10, a strong north-east wind did not allow divers to go underwater to the wreck.

Work to begin the draining began in recent days, after several postponements earlier because of weather conditions. Reports said that the actual draining of the oil from the Mopang is expect to begin in the next few days.

So far, the work achieved has been the drilling of openings to enable divers to find out in which tanks there is fuel, and how much.

The worst prognoses about a large amount of fuel aboard the wreck appeared to have come true, but it cannot be said how much, specialists told local media.

Six hexagonal concrete anchors have been placed around the wreck as part of the operation, while earlier, floating barriers were put in place to contain the leaks.

Bulgarian authorities have insisted that there is no danger to the environment or to tourism from the leaks from the Mopang.



The Sofia Globe staff

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