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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Esso Essen KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 5
source MIT79
type D
volume 4400LT
material
dead
link

Listed as a grounding. No other info.


source MCDSAC
type A
volume
material
dead
link

Hull Damage, proceeded to False Bay.


source OSIR
type D
volume 15000T
material C
dead
link

Puts location at 34.28S, 18.20E, Atlantic Ocean, off Penisula Coast. Says material is heavy crude. Says cause is "grounding on reef".


source Underhill, A brief history of penguin oiling in South Africa, Univ of Capetown
type D
volume 4000T
material
dead
link

There was a major oil spill near Cape Town in 1968. The Esso Essen struck a submerged object off Cape Point on 29 April. The ship was illegally 5 km offshore at the time, when it ought to have been 16 kms in terms of prevailing legislation at the time. With eight out of its 12 tanks ruptured, the spilt an estimated 4000 tons of oil. Thousands of seabirds, including penguins, were found oiled, and virtually all died.


source CTX
type D
volume 5MML
material C
dead
link

The University of Cape Town source is easily the most valuable but we still have no real info on cause. Sounds like a navigation error, but it could have been a machinery failure, or ... At this point leaving cause blank.

Sources split between 15,000t and 4,000t for spill volume. CTX went with 4,000 because Underhill is easily the most detailed source, and, being concerned about penguins, unlikely to under-estimate spillage. This volume seems to be accepted by most of the South African sources.