The Greek ship Minerva Helen is no longer considered a suspect for the oil spill off Israel, following an investigation that took place by the Israeli authorities in Greece, Israel’s Environmental Protection Ministry announced Sunday.
Israel is facing one of its worst pollutions, after an oil spill, believed to be originated from a ship, wa reported during a storm on 11 February about 50km off the coast.
Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel said nine ships were being investigated, using satellite data and wave patterns. In the attempt to find the source of the spill, Israeli media reported last week that M/T MINERVA HELEN, owned by Greek shipping company Minerva Marine, was related with the oil pollution incident, a report that the company immediately denied.
In this context, a team led by Israel’s Environmental Protection Ministry investigated the Minerva Helen in Piraeus Port, determining that it was not the ship in question.
The investigation was carried out with the full cooperation of the Greek authorities and with the involvement of the Greek coast guard, the ministry added, stressing that no contact was made with the ship or its owners.
On Saturday, the ministry announced that a second suspected oil slick had been identified about 150 km west of Israel’s shores, but appeared to be moving away.