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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Jakob Maersk KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 8
source OSCH
type A
volume 637500B
material Iranian crude
dead
link

On January 29, 1975, the Jakob Maersk struck a sand bank while entering the port of Leixoes, Portugal. Explosions followed the grounding. The ship and cargo burned for two days before burning itself out. The hull of the Jakob Maersk sank.

Iranian crude oil is a medium weight product with an API gravity between 31.0 and 33.8 and a viscosity between 6.6 and 9.4 centistokes. Most of the oil was burned in the resulting fire. The authorities made no attempt to control the fire due to a temporary unavailability of dispersants and a desire to burn as much oil as possible. Oil leaked from the sunken hull, and oiled 19 miles of coastline. On February 11, a large release of oil occurred as the prow of the wreck moved on the rocks. Of the approximately 600,000 barrels of oil on board, an estimated 300,000-375,000 barrels were consumed in the fire, 150,000-187,500 barrels drifted out to sea and dispersed. The approximately 112,500 barrels of oil remaining impacted the shoreline.

The fire was intentionally permitted to burn in the hope that it would consume most of the oil rather than allowing it to oil the shoreline. Straw was spread to absorb the unburned oil that leaked from the ship. Dispersants were first used on January 31, after the fire had died, and continued to be applied through mid-March. Two thousand barrels of dispersant were used and appeared to have some effect on the oil. Some mild cases of respiratory problems occurred among local inhabitants due to exposure to the air pollution created by the fire. Results of fisheries sampling by authorities from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations determined that fishes from the area were safe for human consumption.


source SIS83
type D
volume
material
dead
link

ran aground on sand bar, jolt caused fuel leak, fire/explosion, sand


source HOOKE
type A
volume
material
dead 6
link

At 1 PM on 1975-01-29, while manuevering to berth at Leixos with the assistance of tugs, 88,000 dwt Danish steam tanker Jakob Maersk struck bottom causing explosions in her engine room, which ripped through the vessel igniting a blazing inferno. One man was seen being bodily lifted from the bridge by the sheer force of the blast. The port of Leixos was quickly closed, with other vessels in the immediate vicinity beign abandoned by their crews for the sake of safety. The Jakob Maersk, which had arrived from from Kharg Island with almost 88,000 tons of crude, was abandoned by her mainly Danish crew, six of whom died. There were 26 survivors including the master, Captain Gert Rasnussen. After further explosions on January 31, the badly damaged vessel broke in two, lying half-submerged, with heavy leakage of her burning crude oil cargo to the sea.


source ETC
type D
volume 577534B
material
dead
link


source MIT79
type A
volume 84000LT
material
dead 5
link

Struck bar entering port. Volatile crude, rescue attempts started fire, 5 dead, cargo and ship complete loss.


source CEDRE
type A
volume 84000LT
material
dead 7
link http://www.le-cedre.fr/en/spill/jakob/jakob.php

On the 29th of January, 1975, at 1230 pm, the oil tanker Jakob Maersk hit a sandbank while it was trying to enter the harbour. A few seconds later, there was an explosion in the engine room. The oil tanker caught fire and broke into three parts.

7 out of 17 crew members died during the disaster, most of them were in the engine room during the explosion.


source mare nostrum
type A
volume
material
dead 6
link http://,arenostrum.org/buceo/portugal/jakobmaersk.htm

On Janaury 29th, 1975, around 1 pm, when on manoeuvres to moor on tanker's terminal A at Leixoes harbour, she suffers a huge explosion following with an intense fire and other explosions. Her crew was made up of 32 persons, both men and women. 26 were saved, of which 4 were severe burned, 5 were missing and 1 drowned. The five missing crew members were machine engineers. The tug Monte de Luz sailed close to the burning tanker and saved 17 crew members and two port pilots.

The cause as always was human error. The ship broke in two. The stern sank near the entrance of the harbour anbd the bow was thronged by the sea to shore, where she stays, near Castelo do Queijo, for a few years. The highest and biggest part of stern section was later removed because she was a danger to other vessels that enter and leave Leixoes harbour. Nowadays divers can find some burned metal sheets and oil tubes on a sandy seabed between 12 an 15 m deep.


source CTX
type D
volume 637500B
material
dead 5
link

Interesting that OSCH would talk about mild respitory problems and not mention the five to seven men killed, four severely burned.

Cause is quite unclear; but inerting might well have kept the fire from spreading so far so fast. Photos indicate she was quite close to the terminal with tugs along side. 88000 ton ships was not particulary big. Why would she ground right next to berth.

Speed would have been very low. If she did ground, it would have been a very mild grounding. Running aground should not cause a fuel leak in the engine room, especially if she had tugs alongside which means low speed. Groundings come from the outside in and all engine rooms are double bottomed.

Where did the fuel leak come from? BFO lines dont run thru double bottom,

BFO does not explode. Fuel leaks in engine rooms can cause fires, but rarely an explosion. The dive site's "oil tubes" might be boiler tubes which might hint at a boiler explosion. According to Hooke, ship was a steam tanker. But sometimes non-native English speakers use "tubes" for "pipes".

MIT79 claims that rescue attempts started fire is not supported by any other source, including eye witnesses.

We need a lot more info, but something was wrong in the engine room. Maersk probably knows what happened. Class might know, but neither will talk.

If the CTX had to make a guess, it would be a boiler explosion. One way this can happen is a boiler trips, but fuel to the boiler is mistakenly not cut off. When the boiler is re-lighted, the accumulated fuel and vapor ignites at once. But without more info this is simply speculation.

Guessing the ship was not inerted, but we need confirmation. Could have made a very big difference in spillage.