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.
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.
The Maltese tanker ERIKA, carrying some 31,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil as cargo, broke in two in a severe storm in the Bay of Biscay on 12th December 1999, 60 miles from the coast of Brittany. All members of the crew were rescued by the French maritime rescue services. Some 19,800 tonnes of oil were spilled. The bow sank on 12th December and the stern on the following day.
On the 30th March 1994 the tanker BAYNUNAH collided with the tanker SEKI (153,506 GRT) off of the coast of Fujairah (United Arab Emirates) causing SEKI’s No. 1 port cargo wing tank to rupture. Although BAYNUNAH did not spill any oil as it was in ballast, SEKI was carrying 293,000 tonnes of Iranian light crude oil, of which 16,000 tonnes spilt subsequently into the Gulf of Oman.
On 3rd December 1992 the Greek OBO carrier AEGEAN SEA, laden with 80,000 tonnes of North Sea Brent crude oil, ran aground during heavy weather while approaching the port of La Coruña on the Galician coast, North West Spain.
On 17th April 1992 the tanker KATINA P was disabled by a freak wave while transiting the Mozambique Channel. It was carrying 66,700 tonnes of heavy fuel oil en-route from Venezuela to the United Arab Emirates. The vessel lost hull plating amidships resulting in a release of approximately 3,000 tonnes of cargo.