One of Sweden’s most environmentally dangerous wrecks is being drained of oil
The tanker Rone, which sank in bad weather in the winter of 1981, is now to be emptied of roughly 200,000 liters of heavy oil. The wreck lies at a depth of 98 meters, 28 km west of Gotland. The operation starts on September 22.
The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management HaV, which finances the work, classifies the wreck as one of Sweden’s five most environmentally dangerous. This is due, among other things, to the fact that an oil leak from the wreck would very likely have a negative impact on marine coastal environments.
– Therefore, it feels very good that the recovery of oil from the wreck will now be carried out, says Fredrik Lindgren, investigator at HaV.
Unmanned underwater robot
Rone sank while on her way to Gotland in mid-February 1981. Because the wreck lies at such a great depth, no divers will carry out the emptying, which is expected to take a couple of weeks depending on the weather and wind.
– The companies carrying out the work, Danish JD Contractor and Norwegian Miko Marine, will instead use an unmanned underwater robot, says Fredrik Lindgren.
According to the information HaV has, the wreck has so far not leaked any oil into the sea. Films show that Rone is in relatively good condition. The low salinity in the Baltic Sea means a lower rate of corrosion, rust, which breaks down shipwrecks.
Heats the oil
At a depth of 98 meters, the water is cold, which makes the oil viscous. This means that it will be heated, to make it more fluid and therefore easier to pump up to the work vessel.
HaV coordinates the work
Along Sweden’s coasts lie hundreds of wrecks containing environmentally hazardous substances. The Norwegian Sea and Water Authority is responsible for coordinating the work with investigation and salvage of environmentally hazardous substances from shipwrecks.