While approaching the Tenneco Oil Company wharf,
near New Orleans on July 22, 1977,
loaded with a cargo of 50,000 tons of Arabian light crude oil
that had been pumped on board at Freeport, Bahamas,
the Greek motor tanker Dauntless Colocotronis
struck the three year old wreck of a sunken LASH barge,
resulting in a fire occurring in the pump room
that rapidly spread to the engine room.
This was caused by the fracturing of a bottom plate
that permitted crude oil from a cargo tank to enter the pump room.
The oil then spread to the engine room.
The tanker was then anchored at Mile 89 in the River Mississippi,
15 miles downriver from New Orleans,
the 34 crewmen abandoning their blazing vessel,
and safely swimming to a nearby dock.
After burning out of control for six hours,
the fire was eventually extinguished.
The engine room, pump room, and accommodation
were all severely fire and water damaged.