Swedish Coast Guard Cleaning Up 37-Year-Old Oil Spill

A Swedish Coast Guard vessel cleans up oil near the wreck site of the MS Immen in the Baltic Sea. Photo courtesy Swedish Coast Guard
A Swedish Coast Guard vessel cleans up oil near the wreck site of the MS Immen in the Baltic Sea. Photo courtesy Swedish Coast Guard

The Swedish Coast this week is busy cleaning up an oil spill in the Baltic Sea that is believed to be coming from a decades-old shipwreck.

The Swedish Coast Guard says that satellite monitoring on Saturday picked up traces of oil in the waters near the uninhabited Swedish island of Gotska Sandön where Dutch cargo ship M/S Immen sank in 1977.

Oil has been observed bubbling up in the vicinity of the wreck, which lies at about 133 meters, according to the Swedish Coast Guard.

The M/S Immen sank in April 1977 with an estimated 62 tons of heavy fuel oil, reports say, and it is unclear how much oil remains onboard the vessel.

The coast guard has deployed an ROV to investigation the leak, as well as ships to skim the oil from the surface of the water.

Based on current drift forecasts, the oil does not pose a threat to land within the next three days, the coast guard said.