You are at:

Kini Kersten

Kini Kersten
Accident date
Accident area
Rozel beach (Cotentin Peninsula)
Spill area
Cause of spill
Nature of pollutant
heavy fuel
Quantity spilled
45 tonnes
Ship / structure type
Container ship

On 1st January 1987 at 6 am, the German container ship Kini Kersten, coming from Ireland and heading for Rotterdam, missed the Casquets shipping lane off the Cotentin peninsula and ran aground on Rozel beach at full speed (13 knots) before it stopped on the sand. Its hull was torn, causing the spill of the contents of one of its bunkers (45 tonnes of heavy fuel).

Beach oiled by the Kini Kersten's fuel
Beach oiled by the Kini Kersten's fuel

The very gradual slope of the seabed beyond the beach meant that tug boats could not approach the ship to refloat it rapidly. It had to be moored so that it would not move. Three of its bunkers were emptied (245 m³) including the one which had been torn during the grounding. A causeway was created on the beach to allow a crane to remove the containers. The operation lasted until 9 January. A channel was dug in the beach, to release the ship during mid-January’s strong tidal range period. The operation succeeded at the second attempt on 18 January.

A localized oil response operation was led throughout this period, integrating the protection of the surrounding marine farming areas, coastal and beach cleaning, then finally the removal of oily waste.

The Kini Kersten lying on the beach
The Kini Kersten lying on the beach
Last update: 19/02/2007