This was important spill politically
coming as it did while OPA90 was being debated.
It looked to Congress to be just the kind of spill
that would have been avoided if the ship had been double hull.
Congressionals staffers told djw1 that it changed a number of votes.
Whether a double hull would have helped or hurt
(via flooding of the double bottom in shallow water subject to swell)
needs real analysis.
Conrary to the OSCH report, several sources say
strong winds blews most of the oil ashore,
which was probably the easiest place to clean it up.
The American Trader was a lightering ship.
She was transferring North Slope crude from the Keystone Canyon
to the Golden West terminal for BP.
This terminal was a CBM (Conventional Buoy Mooring)
which was an obsolete technology even in 1990.
Few if any of these type of offshore moorings still exist.
Unlike an SBM, the ship has to anchor among the mooring buoys,
and cannot weather vane.
It was set in water xxx m deep..
The ship's draft was xxx m.
Several sources agree that mooring pilots were on board.
A NOAA summary says "The vessel's anchor punctured two holes in the
starboard cargo tank due to a combination of ocean swells and
inadequate water depth during an attempted mooring at the sea berth,"
Possible causes include conning error,
bad combination of draft and swell, and ????.
One lawyer for the Captain claimed pilot told him there was 56 ft
of water where in fact there was 51.
The case was settled out of court without any admission of guilt.
So far CTX has not found any real investigation of the cause.
Nothing like the UK or Australian investigations.
Need to get the 1991 Oil Spill Conference Proceedings.
We also need the chronology, the loading pattern,
the size and location of the damage.
USCG Adm Bunch said "three foot diameter hole" in a speech.
Keith in 1993 Oil Spill Conference says "with a hull penetration of less than a meter",
but not clear where this came from.