Protection of Water Resources “Sea Diamond” Case

Findings report & Summary

Description

One of the most important cases investigated was the “Sea Diamond” shipwreck that occurred close to the island of Santorini, in Caldera. The Ombudsman determined that there was an excessive delay by the competent authorities to instigate an Environmental Site Assessment (ESA), to take immediate action to control pollution and restore the area. The administration did not protect the environment effectively. The Ombudsman proposed the following to the relevant authorities:


● Instigate an ESA by a specialized institute, to evaluate the potential impact from the shipwreck on the seafloor and the need for its removal.
● Characterize the shipwreck as waste, since pumping out the fuel contained in the ship’s tanks is not enough to avoid pollution.
● Prepare a special contingency plan to face possible leak of pollutants that may still be trapped in the shipwreck.
● Modify legislation to foresee obligatory instigation of ESA and evaluation of pollution danger for all cases of shipwrecks.
● Transfer jurisdiction regarding shipwreck sea pollution from municipal Port Authorities to ministries or regional agencies


A Council of State (Supreme Court) Decision validated the Ombudsman’s opinion in 2011, by ruling that shipwrecks must be removed from the seafloor and only under specific conditions may another solution be adopted.


More details in Greek

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