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Cablegate: Fire Brought Under Control On Ship Off Croatian

VZCZCXRO3280
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHVB #0094 0391406
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 081406Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8563
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS ZAGREB 000094

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/SCE
EBB/OES
BUDAPEST FOR SAM KOTIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHSA EWWT HR
SUBJECT: FIRE BROUGHT UNDER CONTROL ON SHIP OFF CROATIAN
COAST


1. (U) Croatia's Ministry of Sea, Transport, and
Infrastructure told emboff today that the fire on the Und
Adrijatic, a Turkish cargo ship, is under control. Five
tugboats (3 Croatian and 2 Italian) continue to work to cool
the ship's hull. When temperatures are lowered sufficiently,
a Dutch team of specialists, asked by the ship's Turkish
owner to assist, will board the ship to extinguish any
remaining interior fires and further stabilize the ship. The
Croatian response team believes the danger of the ship
sinking or releasing a significant amount of fuel or other
hazardous material has been averted. They also expect to
complete all necessary stabilization procedures on site, so
they will not have to tow the ship to an interim "safe
harbor" before towing it to a repair yard.

2. (U) The ship was carrying 200 trucks and 11 tons of
hazardous materials from Istanbul to Trieste when it caught
fire on February 6 about 15 nautical miles off Croatia's
northwest coast. Overnight, winds pushed the ship to within 5
nautical miles of the coast, but it has since moved back to
about 10 nautical miles out. All passengers and crew members
were rescued from the ship and taken to Italy.

3. (U) Croatia's Ministry of Sea, Transport, and
Infrastructure is coordinating the response operation.
Tatjana Krilic, principal inspector for safety of navigation
and maritime environment at the Ministry, told us that if the
response to the crisis showed that their disaster contingency
plan worked. She said if the incident had been worse, more
resources would have been needed to control it, but the
contingency plan worked in that all necessary Croatian,
Slovenian, and Italian entities were notified, and Italy and
Slovenia responded with offers of assistance.

4. (U) COMMENT: If, as now appears likely, the Und Adrijatic
is salvaged without causing significant ecological damage,
the incident could benefit Croatia in the long run by drawing
attention to the risk of a more serious event in the Adriatic
and the need to improve Croatia's capacity to respond to such
an incident.
BRADTKE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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