Sunken Russian Trawler Leaking Oil Off Canary Islands

The Oleg Naydenov seen on fire after being towed out to see off the Canary Islands. Photo: Salvamento Maritimo
The Oleg Naydenov seen on fire after being towed out to see off the Canary Islands. Photo: Salvamento Maritimo

An oil slick has been spotted in the water near the Canary Islands that is believed to be from a Russian fishing trawler that sank in the area last week following a fire.

The wreckage of trawler Oleg Naydenov has been located on the seabed about 80 meters from where it sank off Punta Maspalomas in the Canary Islands on April 14.

Authorities have been collecting hydrocarbon samples from the slick to confirm whether or not the oil came from the sunken ship.

According to reports, about 120 kilos of oil was also removed from several tourist beaches in the Canary Islands.

The Oleg Naydenov caught fire on April 11 while docked at the Port of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands. The ship was later towed out to sea and eventually sank about 15 miles from shore.

All 72 people aboard the ship were able to disembark safely at Las Palmas.

Authorities have been using an ROV to survey the wreck, which is located in about 2,700 feet of water.

Officials believe that any oil that is leaking from the vessel is moving away from shore. Media reports say the ship is believed to be leaking about 5 to 10 liters of fuel per hour.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by Spanish authorities. A local prosecutor is also looking into the circumstances of the fire. The photo below shows the ship in Las Palmas prior to the incident.

Photo: Laars Stall
Photo: Laars Stall