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Amoco Cadiz

Brittany, France | 1978-Mar-16

Initial Notification: On March 16, 1978, the Amoco Cadiz ran aground on Portsall Rocks, three miles off the coast of Brittany due to failure of the steering mechanism. The vessel had been en route from the Arabian Gulf to Le Havre, France when it encountered stormy weather which contributed to the grounding. The entire cargo of 1,619,048 barrels, spilled into the sea. A slick 18 miles wide and 80 miles long polluted approximately 200 miles of Brittany coastline. Beaches of 76 different Breton communities were oiled. The isolated location of the grounding and rough seas restricted cleanup efforts for the two weeks following the incident. Severe weather resulted in the complete break up of the ship before any oil could be pumped out of the wreck. As mandated in the "Polmar Plan", the French Navy was responsible for all offshore operations while the Civil Safety Service was responsible for shore cleanup activities. Although the total quantity of collected oil and water reached 100,000 tons, less than 20,000 tons of oil were recovered from this liquid after treatment in refining plants. Keyword: Adverse weather conditions, boom, skimmer, vacuum truck, manual removal, high-pressure hot water washing, sub-surface oil, remote response, BP 1100X, Finasol OSR, BP 1100WD, Finasol OSR-5, chalk, low pressure washing, disposal..

Incident Details
Spill, potential spill, or other:Oil Spill
Cause of incident:Grounding
Products of concern:Arabian light crude, Iranian light crude, Bunker C
Amount spilled (approximate): 1,619,048 barrels
Latitude (approximate): 48° 35.00′ North
Longitude (approximate): 4° 43.00′ West
On-Water Recovery: No information
Shoreline Cleanup: No information
Dispersants: Evaluated and applied
In-Situ Burn: Not applicable
Bioremediation: Evaluated and applied
Note: Documents are posted chronologically and early reports likely contain factual errors. These errors may be corrected in a later report.