From Iceland — Coast Guard Completes Work To Stem Oil Spill From British WW2 Wreck

Coast Guard Completes Work To Stem Oil Spill From British WW2 Wreck

Published May 18, 2020

Poppy Askham
Photo by
Icelandic Coast Guard

The Icelandic Coast Guard has completed work to stem an oil spill from El Grillo, a British tanker wrecked in Seyðisfjörður by German aircraft during World War Two.

As reported, the Icelandic government recently granted the coast guard 38 million ISK to stem the oil spill that has been harming local bird life. The project was an urgent priority as the volume of oil leaking from the ship was expected to increase when waters warm in summer.

Seven divers travelled to Seyðisfjörður from Reykjavik last week and started setting up the equipment required to fill the ship’s corroded hull with concrete. Work ended on May 15th, but extensive checks will be carried out to ensure the oil spill has been successfully stemmed.

The coast guard shared a video of the barge used in the operation:

There have been several efforts to contain the oil leak in the past, but they have had limited success. In 1952 and 2001 engineers attempted to pump oil out of the tanker, but 10-15 tonnes of oil were left behind. It is hoped that the new technique of filling the tanker with concrete will be more effective.

The coast guard ship, Thor in Seyðisfjörður:

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