STRUCTURAL FAILURE ON ANHYDROUS AMMONIA CARRIER IN THE COLUMBIA RIVER

Technical Issues: Rescue Towing, Salvage in Presence of Hazardous Cargo, Refloating

A ship carrying anhydrous ammonia, 630-feet long with a 90-foot beam and 31-foot draft, has a structural failure and beaches on the Columbia River bar. Spring flood tides generating a 9-knot current and heavy seas combine to cause waves to break over the bar, and the ship is damaged. The potential for an ammonia cloud poses a threat to Astoria, Oregon. The main switchboard of the vessel has been shorted out, causing the casualty.

STRUCTURAL DAMAGE TO A PRODUCT TANKER IN SAN FRANCISCO BAY

Technical Issues: Rescue Towing, Safe Haven, Salvage in Presence of Hazardous Cargo, Underwater Salvage

A 28,000-DWT chemical tanker loaded with benzene and bound from San Francisco to the East Coast is overstressed due to improper loading. Passing over the bar at the harbor entrance, a crack opens athwartship on the main deck. The master attempts to turn around at the channel's edge, the crack proliferates, and the tanker breaks in two. About 1,000 tons of benzene are released into the water. The stern section is unstable and sinks in 40 feet of water, while the bow section, containing some 10,000 tons of benzene in four tanks, remains adrift.

FIRE AND EXPLOSION ON CHEMICAL TANKER OFF LONG BEACH

Technical Issues: Firefighting, Damage Stability, Lightering, Heavy Lift

A 35,000-DWT product tanker grounds on the breakwater at the entrance to Long Beach, California, catches fire, and explodes on a smoggy summer day. At least one or more of the forward tanks has been ruptured. The ship is fast to the breakwater.

FIRE ON A TANKER OFF VALDEZ

Technical Issues: Rescue Towing, Firefighting

A 225,000-DWT tanker departs Valdez, Alaska, assisted by three 7,000-horsepower tugs. The tugs are equipped with gear for rescue towing and firefighting. Fire breaks out in the engine room, fed by a broken lube oil line, forcing evacuation of the engine and control rooms and the release of carbon dioxide into the engine room. The escort tug has left to return to port. The ship begins to lose steering and swing into the trough. The use of the ship's anchors is attempted unsuccessfully. The fire is confined to the engine room through inerting of the pump room and cofferdams.



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