Troops Join Black Sea Cleanup

Over 20 sailors missing; storm continues
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2007 8:52 AM CST
In this handout photo provided by the Ukrainian Emergency Ministry on Monday, Nov. 12, 2007, a crew-member, second from right, of the Russian-owned "Vera Voloshina" cargo ship, is seen after being rescued...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Russian authorities have brought in troops to help with oil cleanup on the Black Sea. At least 20 sailors are listed as missing and 3 bodies washed up since a storm hit dozens of ships Saturday. Efforts to pump oil from a sunken oil tanker that's already leaked 1.3 million gallons have been postponed due to heavy weather, exacerbating the environmental damage.

The stony sea bottom doesn’t absorb oil well and Greenpeace predicted it would resurface over the next decade, killing local wildlife. Some 30,000 dead birds and countless fish already line the coast, according to officials, who called it “an ecological catastrophe.” Local businesses fear that tourism will drop off in the wake of the damage.