Skip to content

C/V Santa Clara

Baltimore, MD | 1992-Jan-03

Initial Notification: On January 3, 1992, the container vessel Santa Clara I was damaged during a storm while transiting 30 miles off the New Jersey coast. Damage to the ship's bow was noticed when a pilot boarded her on January 4 to steer her to Baltimore, Maryland (see also Santa Clara I-Baltimore). An inspection in Baltimore revealed broken intermodal containers and arsenic trioxide spilled on the ship's deck, with a further 21 containers missing, including four hundred forty-one 375-pound arsenic trioxide drums. The response involved a helicopter sonar search, re-acquiring the helicopter targets with a vessel and identifying them with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) video camera, and, finally, removing the drums. Beginning in mid-January, U.S. Navy Helicopter Mine Squadron 14 searched for the lost containers via underwater mine detection equipment using towed side-scan sonar array. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Fund was accessed for $250,000. Before the response ended, the Fund ceiling was raised to $6 million. USCG district 7. Keyword: endangered species, evaporation, Food and Drug Administration, NAVSUPSALV, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Laboratory, remote sensing, salvage, seafood harvesting ban, shallow water recovery, tourism losses.

Incident Details
Products of concern:arsenic trioxide, magnesium phosphide
Latitude (approximate): 39° 16.63′ North
Longitude (approximate): 76° 36.07′ West