Small tanker sinks off Athens, skipper dead

Small tanker sinks off Athens, skipper dead

ATHENS - Agence France-Presse
Small tanker sinks off Athens, skipper dead

A capsized tanker is surrounded by auxiliary vessels off the port of Elefsina, west of Athens March 5, 2012. REUTERS photo

The captain of a small Greek tanker was found dead on Monday after the vessel sank off the coast of Athens with more than 2,000 tonnes of fuel on board, the coastguard said.

The ship which had a Greek crew of 11 went down around 0830 GMT off the industrial district of Eleusina, near the main port of Piraeus, probably after hitting the wreck of another vessel in the shallow bay, the coastguard said.

"Divers recovered the body of the 48-year-old captain at 1100 GMT," a coastguard press officer told AFP.

"He was found a level below the deck," she added.

The tanker carried 1,800 tonnes of fuel oil and about 250 tonnes of diesel but the coastguard officer there was no immediate risk to the environment.

"No leak has been detected so far but we have floating barriers in position just in case," she said.

The ship's remaining 10 crew members had previously been rescued unharmed by motorboat.

One of them was taken to hospital as a precaution owing to a prior heart ailment, the coastguard said.