Emergencies

Maritime accidents and oil spill

According to a definition of GESAMP, United Nations advisory body on scientific aspects of marine protection, marine pollution is:

direct or indirect introduction by man of substances or energy into the marine environment … which results in such deleterious effects as harm to living resources, hazard to human health, hindrance to marine activities including fishing, impairment of water quality and reduction of marine attractions

The categories of pollutants associated with the maritime traffic are mainly hydrocarbons and chemicals. Annex I of MARPOL 73/78 defines with the term HYDROCARBON the oil in all its forms, including the crude oil, the fuel oil, the sludges, debris and other refined products (other than petrochemicals which are subject the provisions of Annex II of MARPOL 73/78); MIXTURE OF HYDROCARBONS is defined each mixture containing hydrocarbons. The hydrocarbon contamination associated with maritime navigation can originate:
Operational: caused from navigation (tank cleaning, drain bilge and ballast water).
Accidental: caused by accidents such as collisions, groundings, fires, explosions, and shipwrecks.

Old Oil Spill Accidents

According to ITOPF (The International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Ltd) a lot of pollutions are due to a combination of factors that lead to groundings, collisions, structural failures, fires and explosions. Below a list follows of some accidents that have involved tankers occurred in the world seas in the last 40 years. All pictures are courtesy of Cedre (France), project partner.
An alphabetical classification of spills at sea is available at Cedre website; below some accidents in European waters are shown:

Vessel name: AMOCO CADIZ
Flag: Liberia
Date: 16 March 1978
Location: France
Cause: damage to ship
Oil spilled: 223.000 tonnes of crude oil
Maritime accidents and oil spill
Vessel name: HAVEN (twin of AMOCO CADIZ)
Flag: Cyprus
Date: 11 April 1991
Location: Genova, Italy
Cause: fire on board
Oil spilled: 144.000 tonnes of Iranian crude oil
Maritime accidents and oil spill
Vessel name: SEA EMPRESS
Flag: Liberia
Date: 15 February 1996
Location: Milford Haven, UK
Cause: grounding
Oil spilled: 73.000 tonnes of light crude oil
Maritime accidents and oil spill
Vessel name: AEGEAN SEA
Flag: Greek
Date: 3 December 1992
Location: La Coruña, Spain
Cause:
Oil spilled: 67.000 tonnes of light crude oil
Maritime accidents and oil spill
Vessel name: PRESTIGE
Flag: Bahamas
Date: 18 November 2002
Location: Galicia, Spain
Cause: damage
Oil spilled: 64.000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil
Maritime accidents and oil spill
Vessel name: ERIKA
Flag: Malta
Date: 12 December 1999
Location: Bay of Biscay (France)
Cause: damage to ship
Oil spilled: 31.000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil
Maritime accidents and oil spill
Vessel name: KATJA
Flag: Bahamas
Date: 7 May 1997
Location: port of Le Havre (France)
Cause: error
Oil spilled: 187 m³ of bunker fuel
Maritime accidents and oil spill
Vessel name: KINI KERSTEN
Flag: Germany
Date: 1 January 1987
Location: Rozel beach (Cotentin Peninsula; France)
Cause: grounding
Oil spilled: 45 tonnes of heavy fuel
Maritime accidents and oil spill
Vessel name: TANIO
Flag: Panama
Date: 7 March 1980
Location: Channel, north of Batz Island
Cause: damage to ship
Oil spilled: 6.500 tonnes of heavy fuel oil
Maritime accidents and oil spill
Vessel name: ROKIA DELMAS
Flag: Panama
Date: 24 October 2006
Location: south of the island of Ile de Ré (France)
Cause: grounding
Oil spilled: heavy fuel oil & marine diesel
Maritime accidents and oil spill
Vessel name: DONGES REFINERY
Flag: none
Date: 16 March 2008
Location: Donges, Loire-Atlantique (France)
Cause: pipe leak during loading operation
Oil spilled: 400 tonnes (estimation)
Maritime accidents and oil spill
Vessel name: CONFLICT LEBANON
Flag: none
Date: 13 July 2006
Location: Lebanon coast
Cause: bombings
Oil spilled: 10,000 to 15,000 tonnes
Maritime accidents and oil spill