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Tanio; Brittany, France

Brittany, France | 1980-Mar-07

Initial Notification: On March 7, 1980, the tanker Tanio, carrying 190,580 barrels of No. 6 fuel oil, broke in two off the coast of Brittany, France during a violent storm. The master and seven crew members died as a result of the accident. Approximately 98,955 barrels of oil spilled into the sea as a result of the breakup. The bow section, which still contained 36,650 barrels of oil, sank in 300 feet of water. Substantial amounts of oil continued to leak from the sunken bow until several small leaks in the bow were sealed in May. The stern remained afloat and was towed to the port of Le Havre where its remaining 54,975 barrels of oil were offloaded. Strong northwest winds at the time of the incident moved the oil towards the Breton coast. Due to the high viscosity of the oil and severe weather conditions, containment or dispersal at sea was impossible. Because the spring tides in this region have an average tidal range of 26 feet, many areas along the coast could not be boomed effectively. Consequently, the Breton coast (which had already received major oil impacts from the Torrey Canyon spill in 1967 and the Amoco Cadiz in 1978), was again severely oiled. Approximately 45 percent of the Amoco Cadiz spill area was affected by oil from the Tanio. Approximately 125 miles of the coastline of the two Departments of Finistere and Cotes-du-Nord were oiled. Both Departments implemented the Plan Polmar, the French national oil spill contingency plan, due to the severity of the coastal oiling. This enabled them to use the national army for cleanup operations. Personnel from the Civil Defense organization, fire service, local governments, commercial contractors, and local farmers were also involved in the cleanup. The International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) provided technical advice and monitored cleanup activities on behalf of the International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) Fund. Cleanup operations in the two Departments varied due to differences in the severity of the pollution, nature of the shoreline, and the cleanup policies that were implemented. Cleanup was completed and all beaches except St. Guirec were in use by early July. Damages and costs incurred during cleanup exceeded $50 million. Keyword: Skimmer, vacuum truck, manual removal, high-pressure washing, sorbents, Finasol OSR 2, International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF), sinking, contingency plan, suction operations..

Incident Details
Products of concern:No. 6 Fuel Oil
Total amount at risk of spill: 4,160,000 gallons
Latitude (approximate): 49° 10.00′ North
Longitude (approximate): 4° 16.00′ West
On-Water Recovery: Unknown/Not applicable
Shoreline Cleanup: Unknown/Not applicable
Dispersants: Applied
In-Situ Burn: Unknown/Not applicable
Bioremediation: Unknown/Not applicable