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Esso Bernicia

Name
Esso Bernicia
Accident date
30/12/1978
Location
Scotland
Accident area
Sullom Voe, Iles Shetlands
Spill area
Offshore
Cause of spill
Collision
Nature of pollutant
Heavy fuel oil (IFO 380)
Quantity spilled
1,100 tonnes
Ship / structure type
Oil tanker
Built date
1968
Flag
British

On 30 December 1978, the British tanker the Esso Bernicia collided with the mooring jetty in Sullom Voe. She lost 1,100 tonnes of Bunker C in the incident. The very strong currents in the area dispersed the oil, moving it towards the neighbouring islands.

An considerable number of floating booms were used to protect the areas and to contain the oil. The use of skimmers was not possible because of the viscosity of the oil and of the low water depth.

Access to the polluted areas on the coastline was very difficult. As a result, manual cleaning was the only solution.

Last update: 02/06/2004