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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Castillo de Bellver KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 8
source LMIU
type D
volume
material
dead 3
link

Explosion, on fire 05 Aug 1983 in 33 31 S 17 06 E Developed crack in hull, broke in two, fire burnt out 06 Aug Aftpart sank 07 Aug in 33 17 03 S 17 30 18 E Forepart towed out and sunk 13 Aug Reported 26 Jun 1994 oil leaking from wreck. 3 dead


source CAPELAW
type D
volume
material
dead
link http://www.uctshiplaw.com/pscftnt.htm

The Spanish tanker Castillo de Bellver, carrying 276,000 tons of light Arabian crude, in 1983 suffered a crack amidships, caught fire, broke in half and sank 12 miles off the South African western seaboard. The bulk of the oil was contained in the aft section which was towed out 300 miles, there to sink in 3000 m.


source HOOKE
type D
volume
material
dead 3
link

Loaded Jebel Dhanna to Spain. Burst into flames 68 miles NW of Capetown lat 33.31S, 17.06E. Broke in two about 1000 following massive explosions. The master, Captain Alfonso Civera, said he was on the bridge when the fire started amidships on the port side, and then rapidly spread along the entire length of the tanker.


source LINK
type D
volume
material
dead
link http://www.sanccob.co.za/history_timeline.htm

Picture on this site clearly shows that the fire is amidships and the ship is already failing in sag. Weather is calm.


source ITOPF
type A
volume 252000T
material
dead
link http://www.itopf.com/casehistories.html#castillodebellver

The Castillo de Bellver, carrying 252,000 tonnes of light crude oil (Murban and Upper Zakum), caught fire about 70 nautical miles north west of Cape Town, South Africa on 6th August, 1983. The blazing ship drifted towards shore and broke in two. The stern section - possibly with as much as 100,000 tonnes of oil remaining in her tanks - capsized and sank in deep water, 24 nautical miles off the coast. The bow section was towed away from the coast and eventually sunk with the use of controlled explosive charges. Approximately 50-60,000 tonnes is estimated to have spilled into the sea or was burned. Although the oil initially drifted towards the coastline, a wind shift subsequently took it offshore, where it entered the north-west flowing Benguela current.

Although a considerable [sic] amount of oil entered the sea as a result of the Castillo de Bellver incident, there was little requirement for clean-up (there was some dispersant spraying) and environmental damage was minimal. The only visible damage was the oiling of some 1,500 gannets, most of which were collected from an island near the coast where they were gathering for the onset of the breeding season. A number of seals were observed surfacing in the vicinity of the dispersant spraying activities, but were not thought to have suffered any long-term effects. Also of initial concern was the black rain that fell during the first 24 hours on predominantly wheat growing and sheep grazing lands due west of the explosion, although no long-term damage was recorded from these residues. The impact on both the rich fishing grounds and the fish stocks of the area was also considered to be negligible.


source Hare, Univ.of Cape Town
type A
volume
material
dead
link http://www.uctshiplaw.com/pscftnt.htm

The Spanish tanker Castillo del Bellver, carrying 276000 tons of light Arabian crude oil, in 1983 suffered a crack amidships, broke in half, and sank 12 miles off the South African western seaboard. The bulk of the oil was contained in the aft section, which was towed out 300 miles, there to sink in 3000 meters with no significant coastal pollution.


source HOOKE
type D
volume 250000T
material
dead 3
link

The largest marine total loss for four years, the 271,425 dwt Spanish steam tanker Castillo de Bellver was on a voyage from Jebel Dhanna to Spain, loaded with 250,000 tonnes of light crude oil, when she burst into flames 68 miles NW of Cape Town in lat 33.31S, long 17.06E at 1.30 am on August 6, 1983. The entire vessel and the surrounding sea was quickly engulfed by the fire, fed by blazing oil pouring from a crack in her hull. The 36 members of the crew abandoned ship, but three were lost. Most of the 33 surviviors were taken on-board the trawler Harvest Carina from two lifeboats and four liferafts after spending three hours being tossed around in stormy seas, while one was rescued by a container vessel, and another two air-lifted to safety from the blazing deck by a helicopter. The Castillo de Bellver then broke in two at about 10 am following massive explosions releasing more cargo into the sea. The master, Captain Alfonso Civera, later said he was on the bridge when the fire started amidships ontheport side. It then rapidly spread along the entire length of the tanker.


source CTX
type D
volume 252000T
material
dead 3
link

ETC puts the spill at 1,392,700B. Cedre says the location of this spill is Spain?????

This is the third largest tanker spill of all time in most lists.

S African environmental report says oil spilled was a high quality crude oil with a specific gravity of 0.825, high vapour pressure, and low viscosity. It contained a high percentage of light fractions, which, although making it fairly toxic, also meant it was very volatile. Slick was pushed offshore to the west.

Ship was delivered in 1978, so unless the permanent ballast tanks were uncoated, corrosion in unlikely to be a major cause, On the other hand, there is no mention of heavy weather. (Crack could have been sustained a week or so earlier.) The port side takes the biggest beating going around the Cape. Three killed indicates maybe somebody was working in the area event tho it is 0130? Also Captain was on the bridge at 0130??

1978 built VLCC probably was inerted, but we need confirmation.

Lots of conflicting data but this is probably a leak into the port midships permanent ballast tank, usually 3P on this size ship. No info on possible ignition source.

Despite the fact that this was one of the 3 or 4 largest tanker spills of all time, CTX has been unable to locate any official investigation report. Flag state was Spain.