- The incident occurred on 17 October 2007, shortly before noon (local time) when the 186-metre Panama flagged “Dubai Guardian”, manned by a crew of 23 men and carrying a load of iron ore, was entering the port about 0.7 nautical miles from the shore with the help of navigator. It rammed into the 67-metre Greek flagged “Diamond I” loaded with 1,200 tonnes of lignite, which had a crew of six and one passenger.
- The “Diamond I” immediately started to sink in waters taking its captain with it, about 16 meters deep and all those on board immediately abandoned ship and were picked up by the navigator of the Panama-flagged vessel.
- An ongoing search by divers in waters near Thessaloniki Port had failed to find any sign by Wednesday afternoon of the captain who preferred to sink with the ship. Participating in the search were divers from the EMAK emergency rescue squad and the Greek coast guard.
- Meanwhile, oil booms have been placed around the site of the accident by the Thessaloniki Port Authority and the prefecture, with a cleanup vessel on standby in the case of a leak.
- According to Macedonia-Thrace Minister Margaritis Tzimas, there is no risk of pollution to the Thermaikos Gulf from the sunken lignite and all measures to contain pollution as a result of the accident have been taken.The minister added that the port of Thessaloniki remained open and that there had so far been no obstruction of shipping traffic.
- Port Thessaloniki is the sea gate of the Balkan peninsula and, at the same time,the nearest port of the European Union to the Balkan countries and the Black Sea.
News source: Athens News Agency
Oldsailor mourns and salutes the captain of Diamond I, who preferred to sink with the ship.
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