Paper presented at: Interspill 2009, Marseille, France, 12-14 May 2009
In April 2007 the 1500 passenger cruise ship SEA DIAMOND was involved in a tragic incident which resulted in the loss of two lives and the sinking of the vessel near the Greek island of Santorini. In addition to this, the vessel's fuel oil, diesel, lube, and slops tanks were damaged in the sinking, resulting in a serious oil spill which threatened both the environment of this geologically significant place as well as the flourishing tourism trade of the island.
Under the supervision of the Greek authorities, the owners and insurers of the vessel teamed up with international experts and national clean-up responders to mount an emergency operation to counter this threat. Among its successes, this timely and professional operation managed to remove, directly from the sea surface, a large part of the released oil, thus limiting the contamination of the shores of the island. The following paper offers a brief summary of the incident and the emergency on-water oil spill response operation, setting the achievements in relation to the obstacles faced and advantageous circumstances experienced. Above all, the choices of equipment used, strategies developed and practices employed are described so that lessons can be learned for other spills, elsewhere.