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The Lesvos Port Authority in a statement yesterday said it feared serious damage to the environment from the Russian ship Ataman, laden with asbestos, which foundered on March 11 and has since been moored off the coast of Lesvos. The Ataman was carrying 3,256 tons of asbestos along with about 40 tones of diesel for its engines when a 20-meter gash on its hull caused it to founder.
The Lesvos Port Authority has gone into damage control mode and has erected floating dikes around the Ataman to prevent any further spread of leaked fuel. The Port Authority official and the Greek Merchant Marine Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis have criticized the company owning Ataman for their lack of interest to colelct the ship, since its insurance value is less than what it will cost to repair and retrieve it.