Israeli authorities clear Greek tanker of involvement in massive oil spill

Minerva Helen in Trieste in 2017 (Photo: MarineTraffic.com/AGOSTINO)
Minerva Helen in Trieste in 2017 (Photo: MarineTraffic.com/AGOSTINO)

Greek company Minerva Marine has confirmed that authorities in Israel have cleared one of its managed tankers of any involvement in a recent oil spill incident affecting the coasts of Israel and Lebanon, the company said via its website on Sunday, February 28.

The Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Israeli Shipping and Ports Authority have investigated the incident and subsequently cleared the Greek-flagged Aframax tanker Minerva Helen of all suspicion in connection with the pollution incident impacting Israel's Mediterranean coastline.

Minerva Helen was originally named as one of several suspect vessels due to its proximity to Israel, while drifting in the area, in early February 2021.

On February 22, the Spanish Port State Control Authorities in Cartagena inspected the vessel, observed no deficiencies, and verified that the vessel was well maintained and in a good operational condition without any defects.

Minerva Marine proceeded with a thorough investigation of all the vessel's activities and operations during the relevant period, concluding that the vessel was not connected in any way to the pollution incident and refuting categorically all allegations.

The company added that it made every effort to assist the authorities with the investigations.

Minerva said Israeli inspectors coordinated with Hellenic Coast Guard inspectors and moved quickly to carry out their investigation.

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