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Ice Prince

Ice Prince
Accident date
Accident area
26 nautical miles north-west of Le Havre, Normandy
Spill area
Cause of spill
Structural damage
Quantity transported
5,258 tonnes of timber + 423 tonnes of heavy fuel oil + 123 tonnes of marine diesel
Nature of pollutant
timber, heavy fuel oil (IFO 380) and marine diesel oil (MDO)
Quantity spilled
2,000 tonnes of timber
Ship / structure type
Bulk carrier
Built date
Malta Shipbuilding, Malta
131.6 m
19.4 m
7.4 m
Volcano Carriers, Panama
Elmar Shipping Company, Athens, Greece

On 14 January 2008, the Greek bulk carrier Ice Prince suffered total power failure while in the Channel. Due to very rough sea and weather conditions, the vessel sank the following day, half-way between Cherbourg (Normandy) and Portland (England) in waters under British jurisdiction. 2,000 tonnes of timber stacked on deck fell overboard.

The 20 crew members were evacuated and an exclusion zone with a diameter of 1,000 m was established. The vessel’s bunkers contained 423 tonnes of heavy fuel oil (IFO 180) and 123 tonnes of marine diesel oil (MDO), which was at risk of being released from the wreck.

Upwellings of oil were detected and monitored but no pollution arrived on the shoreline. The timber lost at sea eventually washed up on the shores of Sussex (England). The shipowner organised pumping operations for the bunker fuel and recovery operations for the timber remaining in the holds.


- Cedre, 2008, Concours à l'Etat major de la marine, au CEPPOL, aux Préfets maritimes et aux Commandants de la marine – Actions 2008 – Rapport final
- EMSA, 2009, The pollution preparedness and response activities of the EMSA – Report 2008
- Le marin, 25 janvier 2008, La cargaison de l'«Ice Prince » sur les plages anglaises
- Maritime and Coastguard Agency, 2008, Sunken vessel - Ice Prince
- Shipwrecks uk

Last update on 02/02/2009

External links

Video of the Ice Prince sinking,  BBC News website

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

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