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Pacific Glory

Name
Pacific Glory
Accident date
23/10/1970
Location
England
Accident area
10 km off St Catherine Point, Isle of Wight
Spill area
Offshore
Cause of spill
Collision
Quantity transported
70, 000 tonnes
Nature of pollutant
Nigerian crude oil
Quantity spilled
5, 000 tonnes
Ship / structure type
Oil tanker
Built date
1966
Shipyard
Sasebo Heavy Industries
Length
243.54 m
Width
36.58 m
Draught
18.00 m
Flag
Liberian
Owner
Oceanic Tankers, Inc

The incident

On the evening of 23 October 1970, the tanker the Pacific Glory was sailing from Nigeria to Rotterdam with a load of 70,000 tonnes of Nigerian crude oil when the steam tanker the Allegro, loaded with 100,000 tonnes of Libyan crude oil, collided with her. An explosion occurred on the Pacific Glory generating a fire. Oil began to leak from the starboard side of the vessel. 13 of the 42 crew members were killed in the incident.

The following day the Pacific Glory grounded 8 km from the shore. The Allegro managed to continue her route to Fawley (near Southampton).

Response

It took the Portsmouth City Fire Brigade 40 hours to stop the fire. Meanwhile tugs were spraying dispersants on the oil slicks. Response operations were facilitated by the meteorological conditions. Some of the oil was naturally dispersed in heavy seas. Luckily, none of the 6,000 tonnes of spilled oil reached the tourist beaches of the Isle of Wight. Only a few beaches from Sussex were slightly polluted.

On 29 October, the Shell steam tanker the Halia began the lightering of the Pacific Glory and pumped some of the remaining oil out of her tanks. This operation took quite a long time as it was interrupted because of the weather. The vessel was eventually refloated on 7 November. She was then towed to Lymes Bay, England, where water was pumped from her tanks. She was then towed to Rotterdam, where she arrived on 17 November. The Pacific Glory was declared a total loss. Then, after one year left in the harbour, she was towed to Hong Kong for repair. In November 1972, she changed ownership and was renamed the Oriental Confidence.

Impact and compensation

Thanks to the rapidity of the response operations, the incident did not cause too much damage on the shoreline and very few oiled birds were found. Compensation for response costs and economic impact, paid by the TOVALOP fund, amounted to £330,000.

Sources:

- HOOKE, Norman, 1997, Maritime Casualties 1963-1996, second edition, LLP Limited, Londres

- NOAA, Oil spill case histories 1967-1991, Report No. HMRAD 92-11 to the US Coast Guard Research and Development Center

- IFP, Banques de données sur les accidents de navire ayant provoqué un déversement de pétrole en mer supérieur à 500 tonnes, 1970-1974, Réf. 26 704, Janvier 1979

- Department of Trade, Accidents at Sea Causing Oil Pollution, Review of Contingency Measures, London, 1978

Last update: 02/06/2004

External links

BBC, Isle of Wight Shipwrecks

NOAA : historical incidents