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T/V World Prodigy; Newport, Rhode Island

Newport, Rhode Island | 1989-Jun-23

Initial Notification: At 1640 on June 23, 1989, the Greek Tank Ship World Prodigy ran hard aground on Brenton Reef near the entrance to Narragansett Bay, approximately four miles south of Newport, Rhode Island. The vessel was loaded with 8.2 million gallons (over 195,000 barrels) of No. 2 home heating oil. The grounding tore a 200-foot gash in the hull of the ship, ruptured 9 of the 23 cargo tanks and released approximately 6,900 barrels of oil into the waters of Rhode Island Sound. Immediately before the accident, the vessel was observed operating out of the shipping channel, closer to the Brenton Reef than it should have been. The accident occurred during daylight hours with partly cloudy skies, calm seas, winds NW at 5-10 knots, and visibility 6-8 miles. The response began immediately. Seven rescue ships and several USCG vessels with boom arrived at the scene of the grounding within eleven minutes. The USCG Atlantic Strike Team (AST) was activated within thirty minutes. The pre-designated Federal On-Scene Coordinator (OSC) was the Captain of the Port (COTP), Providence, Rhode Island. The OSC assumed federal responsibility for the spill response within two hours, following the determination that the incident was beyond the control of the ship's captain and the owners, Ballard Shipping of Monrovia, Liberia. A $50,000 ceiling on the pollution fund was established, which was later raised to $3.4 million. The OSC immediately hired cleanup contractors and requested boom and other cleanup equipment. The COTP Providence established a 500 yard safety zone around the grounded vessel. The vessel was surrounded with three layers of containment boom. The remaining cargo onboard was offloaded into barges beginning June 24. The area within the boom was cleaned with skimmers beginning on June 26. The booms remained in place until the vessel was cleared by the OSC to sail on July 2. The T/S World Prodigy arrived at New York Harbor on July 3. USCG district 1. Keyword: Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), skimmer, vacuum truck, boom, volunteers..

Incident Details
Primary threat:Oil
Products of concern:No. 2 heating oil
Total amount at risk of spill: 290,000 gallons
Latitude (approximate): 41° 26.00′ North
Longitude (approximate): 71° 22.00′ West