Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Photo courtesy of Helsinki Times. The containment booms at the port of Naantali in southwestern Finland.
Reijo Salminen, a fire brigade chief, said the oil sightings began in Naantali and ran parallel to a shipping lane to Ledsund, south of the Åland Islands. Under the circumstances the oil is likely from ship traffic leaks rather than a large spill of heavy oil being transported as cargo.
"The oil that found its way into the sea is either fuel oil or diesel oil. It floats on the surface and evaporates quickly, therefore not contaminating sites as badly as heavy oil does," he added.
Up to five ships had sailed from Naantali by midday Sunday when the first spill reports started coming in.
Finnish utility Fortum said it had found no leaks after a night of checks at its power station in Naantali.
"The oil is in the ice, but it has not hit shore yet," Salminen said. He added that sunshine will help in their clean-up efforts by evaporating some of the oil.
The coast guard will be assessing the situation.
Photo courtesy of YLE. Cleaning up after a previous oil spill in the Gulf of Finland.