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Small Greek tanker sinks off Athens, one dead

(Xinhua)

13:47, March 06, 2012

ATHENS, March 5 (Xinhua) -- A Greek small tanker ship sank on Monday near Piraeus port and Coast Guard rescuers retrieved the dead body of its captain a few hours later, local authorities said.

All 10 other crew members were rescued, according to the authorities.

The vessel "Alpha 1" sank while sailing from Piraeus port to the industrial zone of Elefsina, some 18 km northwest of Athens, carrying 1,800 tones of crude oil and 235 tones of diesels, according to the latest account from the shipping company.

Local media reported, citing Coast Guard sources, that based on early data the ship hit an old shipwreck in the area off the refineries.

Most crew members were safely transferred to the shore by a small boat sailing nearby at the time of the incident and were given first aid at a local hospital.

A rescue operation was launched for the 48-year-old Greek captain who was missing and a few hours later divers discovered his dead body.

So far there is no signs of fuel leakage, but Coast Guard experts have taken precautionary measures to avoid environmental pollution.

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