Sunken wreck environmental risks assessment

jorma rytkonen 1310
BONUS SWERA coordinator, Jorma Rytkönen
Coordinator: Jorma Rytkönen, Finnish Environmental Institute

Share of the BONUS funding: EUR 370 100
Duration: 2 years, 1.5.2014-30.4.2016

Summaries of annual reports:
BONUS SWERA final report
BONUS SWERA year 1 report

Sunken ships and wrecks having oil onboard form a potential risk for oil pollution. Based on preliminary statistics there are more than 1000 wrecks alone in the Baltic Sea area which have significant amount of oil (cargo or own fuel oil) onboard to cause a significant pollution in the case of oil will start to outflow. Most of these wrecks with significant amount of oil are from the World War II, thus being already corroded and rusty with a higher potential of oil outflow to the environment. This research project will prepare a novel risk analyses method to evaluate the potential of environmental risk of a certain wreck with the basic factors also to evaluate the possibility of underwater salvage operation. First a selected wrecks lying in Estonian, Finnish and Swedish waters will be listed and classified. Classification will be made focusing into the new innovative salvage and underwater operation concept under development. Each wreck case is it's own with certain technical demands and solutions, thus the execution of the risk analyses of this project would offer a sound tool for oil combating officials to prioritize their decision making procedures to focus into the right case. Risk analyses will be based on both ecotoxicological risk model already developed by Chalmers University and the realistic teco-echnical assessment to salvage the wreck.

Keywords: Pollution prevention, oil, wrecks, risk assessment, ecotoxicology

Partners: Finland, Estonia, Sweden

Introductory article: see page 10 of BONUS in Brief May 2014

For more information visit the BONUS projects' website.