Diesel leak into Foyle from sunken boat confirmed

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Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has confirmed that there has been a diesel leak from a catamaran which sank while moored on the Foyle Marina.

In a statement regarding the 55ft research vessel, the MMV Ostrea, which is owned by the Loughs Agency, Mr Durkan said:

The MMV Ostrea sank overnight.

The MMV Ostrea sank overnight.

“I am aware that a large catamaran owned by Loughs Agency sank at moorings on the Foyle in the early hours of this morning.

“There appears to be diesel leak. Oil sorbent booms to collect the leaking oil have been deployed.”

Mr Durkan added: “I am seeking constant updates from my officials and the salvage team. I am aware that the recovery operation may take several days given the difficult tidal environment, however I will know more at first light tomorrow morning when my Officials will brief me on further developments.”

The Loughs Agency yesterday launched a ‘thorough investigation’ into what caused the vessel to sink on Tuesday morning.

There appears to be diesel leak. Oil sorbent booms to collect the leaking oil have been deployed.

Environment Minister MArk H Durkan

The MMV Ostrea was all but submerged by first light yesterday and it has now been confirmed there was no-one onboard.

In a statement issued yesterday afternoon, a spokeswoman for the Loughs Agency said:

“Just after 8am this morning the Loughs Agency were made aware that our research vessel the MMV Ostrea was partially submerged at the Foyle Marina.

“We immediately implemented our emergency response plan including the deployment of a boom, although there are currently no signs of pollution.”

The spokeswoman added: “All the relevant agencies have been informed and we are working with the appropriate specialists to investigate the cause and to float the vessel.”

John Pollock, Chief Executive at Loughs Agency meanwhile said today: “Thankfully there were no crew on board at the time.

“We will be completing a thorough investigation to determine how this happened.

“I’d like to thank Londonderry Port and Harbour for their assistance.”

The boat is believed to have been docked throughout the night at Foyle Marina and the cause of the sinkage remains a mystery.