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Sunday, 9 June 2024: Large oil slick off Premantura

Croatia: Large oil slick off Premantura
© SeaHelp

A floating oil slick was spotted in southern Istria yesterday, Sunday 9 June, flooding the coast near Cape Kamenjak and Premantura. The cause of the pollution is not yet clear, but the authorities are working at full speed to contain and remove the spill.

Premantura is the southernmost town in Istria and is located on a hill in the centre of the Rt Kamenjak headland. Anyone who comes to this town of 1,000 souls, 12 kilometres from Pula, wants one thing above all else: to enjoy the magnificent crystal-clear sea and the beautiful natural beaches.

Campers in particular flock to the large Camping Stupice, but there is also a wide range of holiday homes, hotels, holiday flats and private accommodation. The Cape Kamenjak with its pebble beaches and small idyllic bays with islets off the coast is perfect for a relaxing beach holiday.

The unique Cape Kamenjak nature reserve begins right behind the campsite

The unique Cape Kamenjak nature reserve, with its secluded bays and unspoilt nature, is a popular destination for visitors from the south of Istria and beyond.

But this unspoilt nature, the crystal-clear water and the beautiful natural beaches came to an end yesterday: as kroatien-nachrichten.de reported today, there has been a “huge oil spill off Premantura / Medulin” since yesterday, 9 June.

 

Croatia: Large oil slick off Premantura
© REGIONAL EXPRESS

 

The online newspaper based its information on morski.hr, according to which a floating oil slick had been sighted in the very south of Istria, which had flooded the coast near Cape Kamenjak and Premantura.

 

Croatia: Large oil slick off Premantura
© SeaHelp

 

In the early hours of the morning, a floating substance reminiscent of an oil derivative with a foul odour was sighted

It also stated that the Municipality of Medulin had informed residents that a floating substance with an odour and properties reminiscent of an oil derivative had been observed in AC Stupice in the early hours of the morning.

 

Croatia: Large oil slick off Premantura
© SeaHelp

The Municipality of Medulin and the public institution Kamenjak immediately sent all forces to the scene, notified all relevant services and began to build absorbent dams and clean the area.

 

Croatia: Large oil slick off Premantura
© REGIONAL EXPRESS

 

The Ministry of the Sea is currently trying to find out who caused the oil spill

The Ministry of the Sea is currently trying to find out who caused the oil spill, but it is currently assumed that the source of the pollution is an as yet unknown ship. Kroatien-nachrichten.de quotes istra24, which claims to have discovered that a large tanker had allegedly been sighted the night before, travelling very close to the coast of Medulin.

A reader of Istarski reported that the spot stretched from Bodulaš to Levanić and across the Kvarner. At around 15:30, an aeroplane flew over Premantura with the task of determining the size and spread of the oil slick. More than 80 firefighters and employees of Kamenjak are currently fighting to contain the spread of the oil slick.

 

Croatia: Large oil slick off Premantura
© REGIONAL EXPRESS

 

As the SeaHelp headquarters in Punat reported, the first call was received by the port capetaneria in Pula yesterday, Sunday 9 June, at around 10 a.m., informing the authorities of the incident.

 

Croatia: Large oil slick off Premantura
© SeaHelp

 

Within an hour and a half of the first call, floating protective dams were deployed

Just 90 minutes later, the first absorbent, floating protective dams were deployed in the water over a length of around 800 metres, said the port captain from Pula, Ms Dolores Brenko Škerjanc, in an interview published on Facebook.

In the broadcast interview, however, it was only stated that all the relevant services were on site and were working together to minimise the damage. Two sports aeroplanes had even flown over the area in order to better assess the level of pollution. Only one bay is currently affected: Pod Lokve near the Stupica car camp.

Ms Dolores Brenko Škerjanc was unable to provide any further information on the cause of the oil pollution in the water. As soon as there are new developments, SeaHelp will report here with an update.

The oil spill off Premantura is not the first of its kind in the area

Back in August 2004, a similar oil slick was reported between DugiOtok and Sestrunj in the Srednji Channel, which was sighted on 12 July 2004 and was about one nautical mile long and 100 metres wide.

The oil had an unpleasant odour, reported a member on forum-kroatien.de, who suspected that it was the remains of a ship’s tank, which had then cleaned its tank with seawater.

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