This section contains summaries of major spills from 1967 to the present day, looking at the incident, response, our involvement together with selected bibliographies and web links, where available.
On Thursday 18th January 2007, the container vessel MSC NAPOLI (4,668 TEU, 53,409 GT, built 1991) suffered structural damage while transiting the English Channel in heavy weather. The decision was taken to beach the vessel on a sand bar in Lyme Bay near Seaton, Devon. Once aground, the vessel developed a list, causing the loss of 117 containers. Both the UK and French coastlines were affected by the pollution with the main contamination from tarballs and debris from lost containers washing ashore, some of which was contaminated by oil.
On 11th August 2006, the tanker SOLAR 1, chartered by Petron Corporation and carrying approximately 2,000 tonnes of intermediate fuel oil, encountered problems in rough seas and sank in the Guimaras Straits, some 10 nautical miles south of Guimaras Island, Republic of the Philippines.
On 10th October 2005, the chemical tanker SAMHO BROTHER was involved in a collision with the container vessel TS HONGKONG, 9 nm North West of Hsinchu, Taiwan. SAMHO BROTHER was carrying a cargo of 3,136 tonnes of benzene, 65 tonnes of intermediate fuel oil and 16 tonnes of marine diesel as bunker fuel.
On 7th December 2004, the Malysian bulk carrier SELENDANG AYU suffered engine failure whilst en-route from Seattle, USA to Xiamen, the People's Republic of China, and ran aground off Skan Bay in Unalaska Island, Alaska. Shortly after the grounding, the vessel broke in two as a result of the severe weather.
On 19th January 2004, the specialised bulk carrier ROCKNES (17,765 GT; 2001 built) laden with a cargo of rock ran into difficulties near Bergen, Norway and capsized, claiming the lives of 18 crew members. The vessel had on board 466 tonnes of Intermediate Fuel Oil 380 and 78 tonnes of marine diesel as well as lubrication oils.
The Maltese tanker TASMAN SPIRIT grounded at the entrance to Karachi Port, Pakistan in the early hours of 27th July 2003. The vessel was carrying 67,800 tonnes of Iranian Light crude oil destined for the national refinery in Karachi.
On 13th November 2002, the tanker PRESTIGE (81,564 DWT), carrying a cargo of 77,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil, suffered hull damage in heavy seas off northern Spain. She broke in two on 19 November and 63,000 tonnes of oil were estimated lost from the PRESTIGE.
On 29th March 2001, the chemical/product tanker BALTIC CARRIER collided with the bulk carrier TERN in the Baltic Sea between Germany and Denmark, 30 NM north east of Rostock. Neither vessel sank, but approximately 2,700 tonnes of heavy fuel oil was lost from BALTIC CARRIER’s cargo of some 30,000 tonnes.
Tanker NATUNA SEA (51,095 GT; built 1980) grounded in Indonesian waters in the Singapore Strait on 3rd October 2000. At the time of the incident, the vessel was laden with 70,000 tonnes of Nile Blend crude oil. The grounding damaged a number of cargo tanks and estimates put the spill size at about 7,000 tonnes based on ullage measurements. Following the lightering of the remaining cargo, the vessel was re-floated successfully on 12th October 2000.