A dozen firefighters dressed in white suits were picking up small oil slicks on the beach of Solaro (Haute-Corse) on Monday, June 14, after pollution at sea spotted three days earlier offshore. This is due to the probable wild degassing of a ship, said the prefecture of Haute-Corse.
Access to the beach, located at the edge of the Solenzara seaside resort, was blocked by the gendarmes on Monday, as was that of the neighboring campsite. A tractor then filtered the residue remaining on the sand. “The tailings are distributed over approximately 500 meters long and 50 centimeters wide in a discontinuous manner”, specified the prefecture.
«After reconnaissance on site in the evening of yesterday [dimanche], these are the only traces discovered since Saturday ” on the coast, she added. The gendarmes and firefighters must carry out reconnaissance on land to identify “Any other areas of grounding or presence of oil at sea”, depending on the prefecture. A drone is also mobilized.
In a press release, the prefecture recalls that access to beaches and swimming remain strictly prohibited and that the firefighters or the gendarmerie must be contacted immediately in the event of the discovery of oil residues.
Several tonnes of waste recovered
At sea, five boats are at work and will be joined by a tug from Ajaccio during the day to fish for oil. Several tons were recovered over the weekend, but the “Pollution is more and more fragmented and dispersed”, said Commander Christine Ribbe, spokesperson for the Mediterranean Maritime Prefecture.
An investigation was opened by the Marseille prosecutor’s office, responsible for maritime pollution cases on the French Mediterranean coast. It was entrusted to the maritime gendarmerie. Investigations will have to be carried out on three ships which were present in an enlarged area around the pollution, indicated Colonel Jean-Guillaume Remy, commander of the Mediterranean group of the gendarmerie.