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Brea

Name
Brea
Accident date
22/01/1988
Location
France
Accident area
15 nautical miles north of Ushant Island, Finistère, Brittany
Spill area
Inshore
Cause of spill
Weather conditions
Nature of pollutant
Organophosphate pesticides
Quantity spilled
700 drums
Ship / structure type
Cargo vessel
Flag
Panama

On 22nd January 1988, the Panamanian cargo vessel Brea was en route from Antwerp, Belgium, to Saint-Domingue, Dominican Republic, when it was caught in a storm north of Ushant Island (Finistère, Brittany). It lost 700 drums placed on the deck. About 50 of them contained organophosphate pesticides which are considered as very hazardous substances. In spite of search efforts, none of the drums could be located. The French State issued formal notice to the shipowner to eliminate the pollution hazard.
The ship continued its journey after an initial list of the missing drums had been established (3 hazardous substances reported). Upon arrival in the port of Vigo, Spain, on 26th January 1988, the captain noticed the loss of other drums during restowing operations (15 new substances identified).

After this storm, drums were found on the Breton coastline but none of them could be formally identified as being part of the Brea’s cargo.

Sources:

- Cedre, 1993, Recherche d'aide à la décision concernant le choix des interventions à mener en cas de perte en mer d'un colis contenant des produits chimiques
- Cedre, 1998, Rapport annuel
- Cedre, 1988, Accident du Brea : risques dus à la présence de fûts de pesticides organophosphorés en mer

Last update: 23/07/2014