The Liberian steam tanker Panther was on a voyage
from Bajo Grande Ven to Antwerp and Ostermoor
loaded with a cargo of 25,000 tons of crude oil
when she ran aground on the South Goodwin Sands
in lat 51.10.36N, long 01.30.24E
on March 30, 1971, during very bad visibility.
Attempts by 10 tugs to pull her off were unsuccessful.
The vessle's master, Captain A. Mathias
reported that he had failed to pick up a pilot near Dover
because his radio had broken down.
A half-mile oil slick subsequently covered the beach at Deal
and patches of oil were washed ashore at Sandwich, six miles away.
To prevent a possible pollution disaster,
it was decided to offload some 10,000 tons of the crude oil
into relief tankers.
The operation was constantly interrupted by gale force winds
with consequent further spillage of oil into the sea.
It was estimated that approximately 15 tons of crude
had leaked in total.
Then, after seven unsuccessful attempts,
the Panther was finally refloated on April 4,
but not until five tugs involved had pulled for over an hour.