The supertanker Showa Maru, carrying 237,000 tons of crude oil
from the Arabian Gulf to Japan, went aground in Malacca Strait near Singapore
in the early morning of January 6, 1975.
About 4500 tons of oil cargo were spilled from the three tanks damaged during the accident.
The Showa Maru was refloated on January 15 after offloading enough cargo
to lighten the ship and without significant additional spillage.
Several local sources including the Sinagpore MPA put the spill between 3800 and 4000 tons.
The grounding occoured south of Pulau Serabok,
in almost the same place as the Evoikos/Orapin Global collision,
the narrowest part of the passage for VLCC's.
At this point there are at least two possibilities:
- Poor navigation, got outside the channel.
- Poor charts.
This is the period in which loaded VLCC's were just beginning
to use the Straits regularly.
One local source uses the words
hit a rock.
For now tentatively going with poor navigation,
but we need confirmation.
Earlier CTX database had the imo number for this spill at 5325986,
which is another Showa Maru, a 43,000 tonner built in 1961.