The pusher tug Panaiot Volov partially sank in River Danube at Ruse, spilling unknown quantity of diesel oil into the water and causing environment pollution. The vessel was docked at the port, but the thick ice at the river in January and February caused breaches of her hull. The local authorities were informed about the accident, which occurred in beginning of February, but it was estimated that the vessel is outside the fairway and not affecting the shipping through the river. The inspectors and environment team laid oil booms and sorbent around the partially sank pusher tug Panaiot Volov, but the melting of ice caused oil spots down the river, which were reported by local fishermen.
“Following the ice in the river the pusher tug Panaiot Volov was breached and suffered water ingress. On February 9, a group of inspectors went to the vessel and checked its condition. On board of the tug there was a group of Bulgarian River Shipping company, which is owner of the ship, who tried to control the situation. On the next day we found out that the water ingress cannot be stopped and initiated measures regarding the reduction of pollution in inland waterway pool. There were some difficulties to lay oil booms around the damaged vessel, but we managed to deal and to limit spreading of the oily waters”, said the Director of River Inspection in Ruse, Ivan Zhekov.
Fishermen have seen oil spots, who felt unpleasant odor that chases the fish, and have reported in the environmental inspectorate. In this way was revealed the accident, which happened 20 days earlier.
The environment inspectors arrived at the scene, but the accident happened in estuary, which is into the competence of River Inspection in Ruse.
So far no one is committed to forecast when the ship will be refloated, as it should first be patched , but all the operations will start after the river level lowers.
The pusher tug Panaiot Volov has overall length of 37.00 m, moulded beam of 8.00 m and maximum draft of 2.00 m. The vessel was built in 1965 and operate under the flag of Bulgaria.