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Accident date
Accident area
island of Honshu
Spill area
Cause of spill
Quantity transported
19, 000 tonnes
Nature of pollutant
intermediary fuel oil
Quantity spilled
6, 240 tonnes
Ship / structure type
Oil tanker (Double hull)
Built date

On 2nd January 1997, the Russian oil tanker the Nakhodka, going from Shangai to Kamchatka and transporting 19,000 tonnes of fuel oil, capsized during a storm in the west side of the Japanese island of Honshu and broke in two. The 31 crew members were rescued but not the commanding officer.

The first oil slicks reached the Japanese coast on 7 January. Little by little, over 300 km of coasts, major coastal fishing, fish-farming, tourism activities and several remarkable natural sites, were affected. Water inlets of a public aquarium and a nuclear power station were protected by booms.

The bow part of the ship ran aground on the coast, whereas the stern part sank with part of its cargo still onboard some 200 km off the coast, and now lies 1800 metres deep. More than 200,000 people took part to the cleaning operations, recovering in a little over a month all the oil which arrived on the coast. Nearly 36,000 m³ of waste stored in barrels, bags or pits had to be disposed of. It was the biggest oil slick Japan has ever faced.

Last update on 02/01/2000
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