Tanker Spills Oil Yet Again After 45 Years



Background:  Liberian-registered tanker “SS Arrow” was built by Bethlehem Steel Company, Maryland in 1948 as the tanker Olympic Games.  She was renamed the “Sea Robin” in 1960 and finally once again renamed to “Arrow in 1962.

On 4th February 1970, Arrow carried approximately 16,000 tons of bunker C oil in Aruba, Venezuela headed toward  Nova Scotia.  Caught in a gale and blinded my mist, she ran hard aground on the treacherous Cerberus Rock.  The impact split the ship in two.  The stern and bow sections sank in an upright position. 21 of the 30 cargo tanks were damaged spilling nearly 10,000 metric tonnes of bunker fuel.

A 22-day long salvage operation was carried out to pump out fuel from the remaining nine cargo tanks in the stern, upright section of the ship that were still intact.  The oil spread to occupy 75 miles of beachheads and threatened to spread even further.  Over 36,924 barrels of Bunker C fuel was recovered from the sunken vessel over the three deployments.

Currently, the wreck still rests alongside Cerberus Rock split into two sections.  On August 28, 2015,  Canadian aircraft reported spotting an oil slick in the vicinity of the wreck.  Closer investigations revealed a crack in one of Arrow’s decks.  Further slicks were spotted late September.  A patch was installed in October, which would allow more time for a plan to pump out the remaining oil.

Source: Wikipedia