On 6 May 1978, the Greek tanker Eleni V collided with French freighter Roseline
at 52.49N 01.47E about 13 km off the East Anglian coast of England.
In the collision, the 18,287 dwt Eleni V was cut in two
and lost about 3000 tons of its cargo of heavy fuel oil.
The tanker's stern section, which contained about 8000 tons of oil,
was towed by three Dutch salvage tugs to the Hook of Holland,
where it arrived on 8 May, and then on to Rotterdam.
On 8 May, the bow section, containing about 1100 tons of oil,
ran aground on a sandbank off the East Anglian coast.
British authorities assumed responsibility for this section,
Department of Trade officials on-scene urged the British government
to have the Royal Navy blow up this section,
but the government decided instead to try and salavage it.
From 9 to 13 May salvage experts attempted to tow the bow
to a suitable beaching area where the oil could be pumped out.
During this period, the section continued to spill oil.
On 14 May, the wreck was secured near Southcross Sands,
but was later towed into deeper water about 14 km offshore.
On 21 May, a decision was made to beach it on Holm Sand,
about 3 km off Lowestoft, but the next day it was decided
that this location was too unstable for pumping operations.
The bow was again towed to deeper water about 14 km offshore.
After another proposed beaching site was rejected,
the British government agreed to blow up the bow section.
The section was blown up at 52.30N, 2.28E by navy divers,
using enough explosives to cause a fireball reaction
which burned up much of the remaining oil.
Only a small slick was observed on the ocean surface after the explosion.
It was estimated that during the collision and salvage attempts,
about 5000 topns of oil in total was lost to the marine environment.