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Precis File
source HOOKE
type A

On Apirl 8, 1985, while on a ballast passage from New York to Venezuela, an explosion in a cargo tank of the Panamanian motor tanker Fuji when about 20 miles SE of Cape Hatteras in lat 32.30N, long 71.30W, blew a 250 ft hole in the port side extending from deck level to below the waterline and a smaller hole on the starboard side. The resultant fire was soon extinguished. The Fuji was then abandoned by her 27 surviving crew members when she developed a list. Two men who were tank cleaning at the time of the explosion, remained missing.

The 200 ft bow section of the tanker broke off in way of No 5 tank on April 14, sinking in under one hour in lat 35.10.33N, long 74.38.78W. The stern was later towed into Newport News on April 20, and after being declared a CTL was sold and towed to Jacksonville, where it remained in an unrepaired laid-up condition for many years, awating disposal. The Fuji had a hull and machinery insurance value of USD 11 million.

source CTX
type C
volume 3665B
dead 2

ETC claims a spill of 3665 barrels of fuel oil. Hard to see what this is based on, but CTX used this number. maybe the ship had a forward BFO tank.

The fire probably started in the tank being cleaned, but with a ship in ballast should not have gone any further. Ship was probably not inerted, but even so it is hard to explain such a big explosion on a ship in ballast. Sounds like there may have been structural problems as well. We need more data.

In 1985, the tanker market was in a terrible slump. This 27 year old ship could not have been worth more than a million dollars. The owners made 10 million dollars from this casualty. One hopes they sent flowers to the dead crew members' families.