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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Urquiola KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 7
source OSCH
type D
volume 733000B
material light Arabian crude/BFO
dead 1
link

On May 12, 1976, the Tank Vessel Urquiola struck a submerged object while approaching the Corunna Oil Terminal at La Corunna, Spain. The vessel began to leak cargo from the damaged bow section. Due to the threat of explosion and fire, the Port Commandant ordered the Urquiola out of the harbor, away from the refinery and town of 200,000 inhabitants. While being assisted out of the harbor by two tugs, the leaking vessel grounded again, further rupturing the bow tanks. All of the crew, except for the captain and pilot, abandoned the ship when it began to list. Two hours later the vessel exploded, killing the captain. Approximately 513,000 barrels of oil burned in the subsequent 16-hour fire. Burning oil spread out from the vessel and was eventually extinguished by the cooling effect of the seawater. Dense clouds of smoke were blown over the town of La Corunna. A safety zone one mile in radius was established around the vessel after air monitors detected high levels of volatile gases. Despite these precautions, a second explosion and fire rocked the vessel on the morning of May 14. Between May 12 and May 21, oil was estimated to be leaking at a rate of 2,200 barrels per day. An estimated 180,000-220,000 barrels of the cargo polluted the Spanish coast. On May 21, a smaller tanker and tug began lightering the Urquiola. About 50,000 barrels of crude oil had been removed from the vessel by May 25, when lightering operations were halted by rough seas. Ten to fifteen foot seas detached a large section of the bow. On June 8, the stern section, containing an estimated 22,000 barrels of bunker fuel, was towed to a more protected area five miles to the west. The stern was partially lightered before developing a crack in one of the tanks that resulted in further, limited leakage.


source HOOKE
type D
volume
material
dead 1
link

Loaded with over 110,000 tonnes of crude oil at ras Tanura, the 111,225 dwt Spanish motor tanker Urquiola struck bottom in lat 43.24.06N, long08.22.12W as she was entering Corunna port via the normal channel with a minimum depth of 22 m at about noon on May 12, 1976. The master reported ship was leaking and, when the pilot boarded the tanker, the Urquiola was turned around and then proceeded seaward. However, apparently in the same position, she struck the rocky bottom again and beginning to sink, she ran aground SE of Yacentes shoal, between the two entrance channels to the port, with her bow resting on the bottom in some 30 metres of water. She listed 50 degrees with a large amount of oil escaping. The machinery was shut down and 37 of the crew, with the exception of the master and the pilot, abandoned ship as a precautionary measure. A tug landed them ashore. Two hours after abandonment, there were two or three explosions in the forepart, followed by a massive fire. The master was killed but the pilot managed to swim ashore to safety.

Eventually, they were able to remove above 15,000 tons from the wreck. Hooke says the ship was a CTL, and the undamaged engine room was mated to a new dry bulk cargo section.


source SIS83
type D
volume
material
dead
link

hit rock in corunna, fire/exp


source LINK
type D
volume
material
dead
link http://www.esferobite.com/marea/Docs/urquiola_fotos_ga.htm

Interesting pictures but no clue as to cause.


source CEDRE
type D
volume 101000T
material
dead 1
link http://www.le-cedre.fr/en/spill/urquiola/urquiola.php

Elesewhere Cedre puts this spill at 95714 tons. Cedre says "struck seabed salient which was not listed on the charts".


source Urquiola, La Verdad de una Catastrofe
type D
volume
material
dead 1
link

This is a 70 page report by the Sindicato Libre de la Marina Mercante. It is in Spanish and my Spanish is nearly non-existent. But here is my best guess at what the report says.

It argues strongly that the cause was an uncharted ledge, compounded by the decision by the port captain to order the ship back to sea. The report includes a copy of the Saybolt cargo survey at Ras Tanura. The total cargo wt was 107,678 mt and the sailing draft was 15.4 m even keel. The ship had a deadweight of 111,225 LT. The report points out that even with some trim the ship could not have had a max draft of more than 16.5 m on arrival. According to the charts, the ship had an underkeel clearance of more than 5 meters throughout the channel.

The report points out that the port captain explicitly required the ship to return to sea by the same channel she came in. The report has two charts indicating that the second grounding was almost exactly in the same place as the first, and both points were well within the channel

Most importantly, the report includes what appears to be a statement from the Instituto Hidrograficode la Marina which admits that the charted depth of 30 M near where the ship hit, was actually 11.2 m.

The report claims that the initial damage was confined to the forward cofferdam, the pump room flooded by the cargo tank forward of it, and the starboard aft BFO tank. (The pump room was still operational.) This sort of damage is next to impossible. It is much more likely that all 5 center tanks were holed on the flat bottom, but hydrostatic balance was quickly established. The SLMM reports says the ship's forward draft was 1.5 m more was 1.5 m larger on the way out than on the way in, which would have generated a big improvement in the hydrostatic balance. The report claims the leakage from the starboard FO tank was halted by transferring BFO to other tanks.

The report claims that on the second grounding 1S, 1C, 2S and 2C vented strongly. There is no mention of any venting on the first grounding, so any penetration into the cargo tanks at that time was quite small.

The SIMM report makes no mention of inert gas. CTX is assuming that the brand new ship was not fitted with an IGS system despite the fact that it was 2.5 years after the Mactra, Marpessa, and Kong Haakon.


source CTX
type D
volume 95000T
material
dead 1
link

MIT79 says 88000T

It is hard to believe that a ship hits a ledge in the entrance to a busy port that no ship had ever hit before, and then immediately hits it again; but that seems to be what happened. (SLMM claims that other ships had reported uncharted shallow spots earlier but that the Spanish Hydrographic Office had not responded.) And it is true that her max draft after the first grounding was larger than on entry. One thing is sure, the port made a terrible mistake, forcing the ship back out.

Need to know if 1973 built ship was inerted.