The product tanker BOW JUBAIL in ballast, made contact with a jetty and spilled approximately 217 tonnes of bunker Heavy Fuel Oil whilst berthing at the Port of Rotterdam. The released oil contaminated structures in the port, including quays, jetties, rock revetment and fenders. In addition, over 100 vessels at the terminal were affected, mostly along the waterline, including ocean-going vessels and inland barges. A small amount of oil and oiled debris escaped from the port boundaries and caused limited contamination along the riverbanks of Nieuwe Maas.
Skimming operations were undertaken by the local response contractor within the port during the initial stages of the incident. Cleaning stations were set up inside the port to carry out high pressure washing of the oiled vessels to ensure minimal disruption to port activities. The waterways are under the jurisdiction of Rijkwaterstaat (Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management), who also instructed its own contractors to assist with the at-sea response and shoreline clean-up. ~500 oiled swans were captured and rehabilitated at a temporary facility. Most of the swans were released within a month of the incident.
The Netherlands is Party to the 1992 Civil Liability and Fund Conventions and the Supplementary Fund Protocol. Following lengthy proceedings in the Dutch courts, BOW JUBAIL was judged in 2022 to be a ship under the 1992 Civil Liability Convention. As a consequence, the 1992 Fund is available to provide additional compensation above the shipowners’ limit of liability.
Four members of ITOPF's technical team spent several weeks on site in Rotterdam. Their role included providing recommendations on clean-up activities, costs and appropriate end-points to the P&I Club, authorities and contractors.