The wreck of the tanker, Ievoli Sun, which sank off the Channel Islands last year, had been carrying chemicals, all of which have now been safely removed

The final stages of the salvage operation on the wreck of Ievoli Sun are now complete, leaving only a final underwater survey to be carried by a Remote Operating Vehicle to ensure the Ievoli Sun can be safely left on the sea bed.

The Smit Pioneer salvage vessel has successfully removed all the chemicals and intermediate fuel oil from the underwater wreck into specialist containers.

Robin Middleton, representative for the UK and the Channel Islands in this Anglo-French operation said:

“The whole operation has been a glowing example of the excellent communications between the parties involved, where the communities and beaches of the Channel Islands were under a very real threat of pollution.

“The salvage operation was unique in using remote controlled specialist robotic vessels to penetrate the outer hull and then the inner hull before removing the chemicals safely.”

During late October last year, after fierce storms in the Channel, the 14 crew aboard the ‘Ievoli Sun’ were winched to safety after the vessel began to take in water. The vessel was bound for Genoa via Bar, and had earlier left Fawley in Southampton. The vessel had been under tow by a French tug `Abbe Flandre’, and at the time of the sinking at 9.00 a.m. on October 31st 2000 was heading east in the Channel.