On the afternoon of January 19, 1981, the tank vessel Concho grounded
in the eastern end of Kill Van Kull, off the northeastern tip of Staten Island.
The bottom port side of the ship suffered damage.
As the vessel continued down the Narrows towards New York Lower Bay,
crewmen noted that it was listing to port.
The vessel was deliberately grounded in Gravesend Bay off Brooklyn to prevent its sinking.
The Concho was carrying 207,269 barrels of No. 6 Fuel Oil.
Approximately 1,786 barrels of oil were spilled into the water.
No. 6 fuel oil is a heavy product with an API gravity that ranges from 7 to 14.
Seventy-five per cent of New York Upper Harbor was covered with sheen.
The sheen extended from the Hudson River near the World Trade Center to Gravesend Bay in lower Brooklyn.
Shoreline in Gravesend Bay was oiled.
Some oil washed up on New Jersey and New York beaches, but most of the oil moved out to sea.
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) was on scene on January 19.
Sabine Towing and Transport Company, the owners of the Concho, hired Ocean Salvors Company as cleanup contractor.
On January 20, Atlantic Strike Team (AST) and Ocean Salvors personnel arrived on-scene
and began offloading and diving operations.
By January 21, a boom was in place around the vessel, skimming operations were underway,
and 35,714 barrels of oil had been offloaded into a barge provided by Exxon.
Lightering operations were performed with Air-Deliverable Anti-Pollution Transfer System (ADAPTS) pumps
until the No. 6 oil became too viscous for them.
Lightering continued using Framo and Thune-Eureka cold pumping systems,
and was completed on January 25 when the vessel was light enough to float off the mudflat
where it had been grounded.
Oil was recovered with JBF Dynamic Incline Plane (DIP) 3001 and 3003 self-propelled skimmers
from Clean Harbors Cooperative.
Booms were deployed in marsh areas in Bayonne by Clean Ventures personnel.
The Concho was moved to Bayonne, New Jersey for temporary repairs
and then sailed to Jacksonville, Florida for further repairs.