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M/T Julie N; Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine | 1996-Sep-27

Initial Notification: On the afternoon of September 27, 1996, the motor tanker, Julie N, owned and operated by Maritime Overseas Corporation, entered Portland Harbor under pilotage carrying a cargo of #2 home heating fuel (HHF). The pilot prepared for passage through the "Million Dollar Bridge," an extremely narrow draw bridge, affording less than five feet of clearance on either side of the vessel's mid-section. Accounting for a rising tide and southwesterly winds, the pilot approached the opening from the northern portion of the Fore River and misspoke the helm command. By the time the order could be corrected, less than a minute later, the vessel was committed and allision (a moving object hitting a stationary one) imminent. The Julie N struck the southern side of the bridge, a sharp buttress damaged her just below the waterline The exposed part of the bridge opened a 15-foot hole into the forward port bunker tank, the forward void space, and the number one port cargo tank. The gash in the cargo tank was small by comparison to that of the bunker tank, less than a foot wide and approximately three feet high. The bunker tanks were carrying intermediate fuel oil (IFO) 380. The vessel reported the allision immediately to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and asked permission to proceed to the Sprague Terminal, some 1,000 yards downriver. Permission was granted. The Julie N headed for the terminal, leaking oil as she went. The local oil spill cooperative, Clean Casco Bay, Inc., was notified as were state and federal authorities. As the ship was tying up to the Sprague pier, state and spill cooperative personnel were deploying a variety of booms around the injured vessel. During that time, USCG personnel on-scene, estimated that the vessel was leaking at a rate of 500 to 700 gallons per minute. Over the course of the next 12 hours, the Julie N would lose a total of 180,000 gallons of oil, 88,200 gallons of HHF and 93,450 gallons of IFO 380. At times during the night, oil was estimated to be seven inches deep inside the boom. USCG district 1. Keyword: Clean Casco Bay, Inc., Corexit 9580, high pressure/hot water wash, State fishery closure, vacuum trucks.

Incident Details
Primary threat:Oil
Products of concern:#2 fuel/home heating fuel intermediate fuel oil 380
Total amount at risk of spill: 180,000 gallons
Latitude (approximate): 43° 38.82′ North
Longitude (approximate): 70° 17.39′ West
On-Water Recovery: Unknown/Not applicable
Shoreline Cleanup: Unknown/Not applicable
Dispersants: Applied
In-Situ Burn: Unknown/Not applicable
Bioremediation: Unknown/Not applicable