After experiencing one of its worst oil spills, Israel is investigating the source. In this attempt, local media reported that Israel is investigating a ship that is being managed by Minerva Marine, with the company however formally denying the accusation as ”unfounded and inaccurate allegation”.
According to BBC, Israel is trying to track the source of the pollution, which is thought to have come from a ship spilling oil.
The source is considered to be an oil spill produced during a storm on 11 February from a ship about 50km off the coast. Satellite imagery and wave patterns are being used to trace the ship responsible. Currently, Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel said nine ships are being investigated.
In the attempt to find the source of the spill, Israeli media reported that M/T MINERVA HELEN is related with the recent oil pollution incident.
Commenting on these reports, Minerva Marine, as managers of the vessel, noted that they are ”unfounded and inaccurate allegations”.
As the company explained, from 04 February 2021 until 11 February 2021 the vessel was drifting offshore Port Said, Egypt, awaiting voyage orders in empty condition, without any cargo on board.
Drifting while awaiting orders is a routine practice for commercial vessels
Minerva Marine said.
It added that, on 11 February 2021 at about 09:00 local time the vessel moved to the Port Said Anchorage, where she arrived in the afternoon remaining without any cargo on board.
Then, on 13 February 2021 the vessel departed from Port Said and on the 14th of February arrived in Sidi Kerir port, Egypt where she loaded her cargo.
After that, on the 15th of February 2021, according to the company, the vessel sailed directly to Cartagena Spain.
During the period that the vessel was drifting offshore Port Said awaiting her next employment, the vessel was not involved in any operation nor in any other activity that could be connected to an oil discharge at sea
Minerva Marine notes, adding that Minerva Helen is ”well maintained without any structural or other defects that could cause an oil pollution incident.”
The company also highlights that on the 22nd of February 2021 the vessel was inspected by the Spanish Port State Control Authorities in Cartagena and was determined to be without any deficiencies or observations, and it was confirmed that the vessel was in a satisfactory maintenance and operational condition and without any defect.
MINERVA MARINE Inc. will cooperate with any relevant authority in relation to the above
Minerva Marine concluded.