KRASNODAR, April 20. /TASS/. Reports of oil spills in the Kerch Strait following the wreck of the Heroes of Arsenal dry cargo ship have not been confirmed. Specialists continue to monitor water and shoreline where any potential spills may drift to, the Black and Azov Sea Department of Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources told TASS reporters today.
"No oil spills have been detected at the wreck site. We are still monitoring the water and shoreline. If we find any slicks, we will take samples and analyze them to identify the source of pollution," the duty officer said.
The dry cargo ship - the Heroes of Arsenal - capsized in the Black Sea on April 19. The captain sent out an SOS at about 04:00 Moscow time. A few hours later, reports of oil spills in the area in question were registered. The cargo carried about 30 tonnes of diesel fuel, rescue services reported. The rescuers set up oil containment booms to keep the oil from washing ashore.
The Heroes of Arsenal had 12 crew members aboard: nine Ukrainians, two Russians and one Georgian. A motorman was picked up from water, suffering from severe hypothermia. So far, three dead bodies have been recovered and identified, and eight people are still missing. Search operations continue to be conducted.