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Accident date
Accident area
Port Bonython
Spill area
Cause of spill
Structural damage
Nature of pollutant
Bunker fuel
Quantity spilled
300 tonnes
Ship / structure type
Oil tanker

The accident

On the 30th August 1992, the fuel tank of the Era was damaged by the bow of the tug Turmoil during a berthing manoeuvre. Some 300 tonnes of bunker fuel was spilt into Spencer Gulf in Southern Australia.

Response at sea

Dispersant was sprayed soon after the spill was reported. The combination of strong winds and the current caused the slick to drift eastward. The use of containment booms was not possible due to the bad weather conditions in the area.

Response on land

The mangroves and several small creeks to the south-west of Port Pirie were impacted by the spill. The difficulty of access and of transporting response equipment to the mangroves coupled with the sensitive nature of the site meant that the authorities decided not to take any response action in these areas. Indeed, clean-up operations in such areas can often do more harm than good.
 Several species of wild birds were affected by the spill, mainly cormorants, terns, pelicans, grebes, herons and ducks. The South Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service and volunteers cared for over 300 birds. 

Last update on 07/10/2013

External links

AMSA, Incident report

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