- Bow Mariner
- Accident date
- Accident area
- off the coast of Virginia
- Spill area
- Cause of spill
- Quantity transported
- 1,000 tonnes of ethanol, 720 tonnes of heavy fuel oil (IFO 380) and 166 tonnes of marine diesel oil
- Nature of pollutant
- ethanol, heavy fuel oil (IFO 380) and marine diesel oil
- Ship / structure type
- Chemical tanker
- Built date
- 174 m
On 28 February 2004, the chemical tanker the Bow Mariner was transporting 11,000 tonnes of ethanol from New York to Houston. A loud explosion occurred and the ship rapidly sank 50 miles of the coast of Virginia, 80 m deep. Three people were killed in the accident and 18 others reported missing.
Ethanol is highly solublein water and slightly toxic. It has a low flash point and is classified as Marpol category 3. The impact on the environment was slight.
The NOAA ship the Rude took sonar images to locate the wreck and determine its position on the seabed.
The Virginia Responder, a MSRC (Marine Spill Response Corporation) response vessel, was contracted by the American Coastguards from 29 to 5 March. She recovered 7 tonnes of hydrocarbon. There was no impact upon the coastline or the fauna.
The company Smit was contracted to help in the search for the missing people and to inspect the wreck, using the POLREC system, a combination of ROLS (Remote Offloading System) and ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicles), previously used in the Ievoli Sun incident.
Ethanol, International Chemistry Safety Cards, Department of Health and Human Services, USA.
ITOPF, Bow Mariner, Explosion and Sinking, Norfolk, Virginia, USA, 28 February 2004.
SMIT, SMIT Salvage awarded contract for ‘Bow Mariner’ in USA.
NOAA, NOAA releases sonar imagery of Bow Mariner wreck