Early on April 22, 1988, the tanker Athenian Venture was found
by the Canadian research vessel Hudson 400 miles southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland.
The Athenian Venture had apparently experienced a violent explosion
as it was broken in two and on fire.
The Athenian Venture had been en route from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to New York, New York,
with a cargo of approximately 250,000 barrels of unleaded gasoline on board.
The vessel was drifting at 40 38 N, 051 09 W,
and the bow and aft sections were approximately two miles apart when found.
The bow section sank at 1400 on April 22.
The aft section continued to drift on fire for the next 7 weeks,
finally sinking on June 17 about 200 miles from the Azores.
Automotive gasoline is a very light weight, refined product with an API gravity of 60 to 63.
Overflights on April 22 discovered a slick .5 by 4 miles.
However, most of the gasoline burned in the extensive fires.
The remaining oil dissipated very rapidly,
most of which was lost to evaporation.
Weather conditions immediately following the accident were good,
with high visibility and calm seas.
No countermeasures were undertaken.
The USCG coordinated rescue efforts with the Canadian Coast Guard.
Five airplanes and seven merchant vessels participated in the two-day search for survivors.
The Athenian Venture had a crew of 24, and the wives of 5 crew members were also on board.
Initially it appeared that one of the lifeboats was missing from the vessel,
but later it was found that all the lifeboats had burned.
No survivors were ever found, and all 29 people were presumed dead.