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M/V Jupiter

Saginaw River, Bay City, Michigan | 1990-Sep-16

Initial Notification: At 0845 on September 16, 1990, the tank vessel Jupiter caught fire and exploded during offloading operations at the Total Oil Company refinery on the Saginaw river near Bay City, Michigan. A wake from a passing bulk carrier apparently caused the parting of the Jupiter's transfer hose, grounding cable, and all but one of its mooring lines. Residual gasoline in the broken transfer hose was believed to have been ignited by a spark on the dock. The Jupiter's stern swung around into the Saginaw River and grounded perpendicular to the direction of the river flow. The grounding resulted in a crack in the vessel's hull from the manifold on the starboard side to 75 feet aft of the manifold on the port side. Area marinas were evacuated and vessel traffic was halted. Bangor County Fire Department and USCG personnel arrived on-scene within 30 minutes of the incident. The pier fire was extinguished in an attempt to save the last mooring line while the fire onboard the vessel remained out of control. Williams Boots & Coots Company (WB&C) from Houston, Texas, was contracted to fight the fire due to the lack of locally available trained personnel and equipment. At 1315 on September 17, WB&C personnel extinguished the blaze by applying foam. Carbon black accumulations falling from the overhead re-ignited the fire at 2300. This second blaze was cooled with water and extinguished with foam on September 18. WB&C personnel also applied foam inside the vessel's cargo tanks to prevent re-ignition of the vessel. River flow data were obtained from the Army Corps of Engineers to predict the oil movement. Shock waves from the explosion may have contributed to the deaths of several fish that were recovered from around the vessel. Neither pollution nor shoreline contamination was observed during the final survey of the area on October 22. USCG district 9. Keyword: Boom, vacuum truck, fire, manual removal, explosion, lightering, disposal..

Incident Details
Primary threat:Oil
Products of concern:Unleaded gasoline
Latitude (approximate): 43° 30.00′ North
Longitude (approximate): 84° 0.00′ West