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Accident date
Accident area
Off Algeria
Spill area
Cause of spill
Weather conditions
Quantity transported
25,894 tonnes of phosphate
Nature of pollutant
Phosphate and bunker fuel
Quantity spilled
25,894 tonnes of phosphate + 500 tonnes of bunker fuel
Ship / structure type
Bulk carrier
Built date

On 21 October 1991, on its way from Ashdod (Israel) to Rouen (Normandy) the Maltese bulk carrier Erato encountered very bad weather conditions and ran into difficulty. It sank off Algeria with a cargo of 25 894 tonnes of phosphate. During this accident, 500 tonnes of bunker fuel was discharged at sea.
 Rescue operations were carried out but 5 crew men went missing.

Sources :

  • IMO/UNEP/MAP/REMPEC, 2004, List of alerts and accidents in the Mediterranean
  • MAMACA Emina, GIRIN Michel, LE FLOCH Stéphane and EL ZIR Rawad, 2009, Review of chemical spills at sea and lessons learnt, Interspill 2009 conference
  • Legambiente and the Civil Protection Department, 2007, Pollution from hydrocarbons in the Mediterranean Sea
  • HOOKE Norman, 1997, Maritime casualties 1963-1996, second edition, LLP Limited, London
Last update on 14/09/2009

External links

CIIMAR database:  fate and weathering of Hazardous and Noxious Substances (HNS) involved

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