The combined efforts of a European Maritime Safety Agency satellite and a Spanish air-sea rescue plane detected an oil spill and led to the arrest of a tanker that created an oil slick in Spanish waters
The Spanish maritime administration authority reported that a Spanish naval vessel has arrested and escorted 2003-built, 47,100-dwt MR tanker Aldan into the port of Almeria.
Aldan was spotted by a European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) satellite and a Spanish air-sea rescue plane dumping oil waste 237 km northwest of La Palma.
The ship’s captain was ordered to change course to Almeria and a Spanish navy vessel was sent to escort the tanker to the port.
Local media in Spain report the oil slick covers 55 km2 and are calling for hefty fines to be imposed.
EMSA operates CleanSeaNet, a European satellite-based oil spill and vessel detection service which offers assistance to participating states in identifying and tracing oil pollution on the sea surface, monitoring accidental pollution during emergencies and contributing to the identification of polluters.
The CleanSeaNet service is based on the regular ordering of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite images, providing night and day worldwide coverage of maritime areas independent of fog and cloud cover.
Data from these satellites is processed into images and analysed for oil spill, vessel detection and meteorological variables.
The information retrieved includes among others: spill location, spill area and length, confidence level of the detection and supporting information on the potential source of the spill.
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