On January 7, 1983, a fire broke out in the engine room of the tanker Assimi.
The crew abandoned ship and the Assimi was taken under tow by the tug Solano.
On January 10, an explosion occurred aboard the vessel
and it burned fiercely for several days as it was towed into the Arabian Sea.
The tanker was towed to a point 200 miles off the coast of Oman where it sank on January 16.
A second explosion occurred as the vessel was sinking
which ignited the oil on the surface of the water.
A slick formed above the area where the vessel sank.
There was no coastal pollution resulting from the incident.
Light Iranian crude oil is a medium weight product
with an API gravity of 33.8 and a viscosity of 6.6 centistokes.
An overflight on January 19 revealed a slick of silver sheen
in the vicinity of the sinking covering 100 square miles and moving towards the northeast.
The Assimi originally caught fire on January 7, and attempts were made to extinguish the fire.
After an explosion on January 10 the fire was burning more fiercely.
The salvors of the vessel were refused passage through the Straits of Hormuz.
On January 12 the tow had been let go due to fears that the fire could flash back,
however, the Solano was able to reconnect the tow and pull the Assimi even further from the coast.