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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Irenes Serenade KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 5
source LMIU
type D
volume
material
dead
link

Explosions, on fire Feb 23 1980 in 36 55.48 N 21 40.24 E Developed crack in hull, sank Feb 24. Sold and broken up.


source ETC
type D
volume 871428B
material Libyan crude
dead
link


source SIS83
type D
volume
material
dead
link

Explosion while dropping anchor. Claimed sparks from anchor being lowered was cause


source HOOKE
type A
volume 101690T
material C
dead 2
link

The 99,688 dwt Greek motor tanker Irenes Serenade, en route from Ceyhan to Trieste loaded with 101,690 tons of crude oil suddenly burst into flames after an explosion occurred in the forecastle area while anchoring to refuel and take on provisions in Navarino Bay off Pylos at 4:30 pm on February 23, 1980. The fire quickly spread throughout the vessel, enveloping her from end to end in under 30 minutes, as a result of which she sank, still ablaze, off Sfaktiria Island at 5:30 am on February 24. Two of her 31 man crew died.


source CTX
type D
volume 102000T
material C
dead 2
link

Volumes range from low of 82000T (Intertanko) to high of 125000T. Itopf says abt 100,000 tons, and OECD says 102,000T. Greek Coast Guard says 103,000 of which about 80,000 burned. Since ship was a 105,000 dwt, latter seems reasonable assuming fully loaded. There have been hints that the owners had or were stealing cargo. But the CTX has seen no evidence supporting this.

Sparks from anchor being lowered won't generate any fire on a sound ship. The nearest cargo is 30 meters away. At 1630 tanks are starting to cool, so there will not be any vapor on deck even if inerting is screwed up. They wouldn't be doing anything on deck halfway thru the loaded passage. CTX believes that the most likely cause is wastage in forepeak permanent ballast tank which allowed cargo to leak into forepeak or fwd FO tank which then vents on deck near the windlesses. Now a spark from the chain being lowered can cause a fire. Something very similar happened to the Oceanic Grandeur in Singapore later in the year.

For now calling this a probable leak into segregated ballast tank. See also Athenian Pride.

If the inerting had not been screwed, then the fire should not have spread, or at least not so quickly.

We need more info. Under Greek law the Ministry of Marine must do an investigation report all Greek flag casualties and all major casualties in Greek waters. But Greece is more interested in being a flag state than a coastal state. So all such investigation reports are kept carefully confidential. It appears that the Greek reports are not even sent to IMO. If the Greeks did do a good job of investigation this casualty, the results are useless.