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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Haven KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 9
source LMIU
type C
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Fire and explosion while anchored Genoa Roads 11 Apr 1991 after part discharge of cargo. Hull split and ruptured. Drifted, then towed to shallower water. Further explosions 13-14 Apr. Sank abt 1 mile off Capo Arenzano 14 Apr. 5 dead Wreck lying in two parts on seabed.


source Jacobsson, 1993 Oil Spill Conference, p 663
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After partial discharge of her cargo of Iranian heavy crude oil at Genoa Italy, the Cypriot tanker Haven caught fire and sustained a series of explosions on 11 April 1991 while at anchor seven miles off Genoa. The tanker, which carried approximately 144,000 metric tons of crude oil at the time, broke into three parts. A large section of deck became separated from the main structure as the result of an explosion and sank to a depth of about 80 meters. The bow section also became detached and sank to a depth of about 500 meters. The remaining main part of the ship was towed into shallower waters where, after a further series of explosions, it sank on 14 April, some 1.5 miles off the coast to a depth of 90 meters.


source CEDRE
type
volume 133000T
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link http://www.le-cedre.fr/en/spill/haven/haven.php


source OSCH
type A
volume 1000000B
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On April 11, 1991, the tanker Haven caught fire while anchored 7 miles off of Genoa, Italy. The Haven suffered a series of explosions and broke into three parts. A portion of the deck sank, and the rest of the vessel began to drift to the southwest. The bow section sank in water 7 miles off Arenzano. The rest of the vessel was towed to shallower waters 1.5 miles off Arenzano where it sank on April 14. Behavior of Oil Iranian Heavy crude oil has an API gravity of 31, and a pour point of -5 degrees F. Of the 1,000,000 barrels onboard the Haven when it caught fire, approximately 450,000 barrels burned. It was estimated that 142,857 barrels spilled into the sea before the Haven sank, and small quantities of oil continued to leak from the wreck afterwards. On April 17, oil impacted the beaches at Arenzano, Cogoleto, and Varazze. About 300 barrels of oil entered the marina at Arenzano. Fishing boats, yachts, moorings, and the harbor walls were heavily oiled. The marina at Varazze was also oiled to a lesser degree. Twenty five miles of Italian coastline were impacted by 1,400 barrels of oil. By April 24, there was a 154 square mile slick off the coast of France. Mousse and sheen impacted the French shoreline near Nice on April 24. Impacts of oil on the shorelines of France and Monaco were light. St. Tropez suffered the worst damage in France, with about 700 barrels in the form of mousse impacting 3 miles of shoreline.

The Harbor Master in Genoa was responsible for the cleanup and recovery of the oil. International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation, Ltd. (ITOPF) personnel arrived on scene the day of the spill to advise the Harbor Master, and to monitor the operations. The Italian Coast Guard maintained booms in the vicinity of the wreck, and attempted recovery of the oil with skimmers. Ecolmare was contracted for containment and recovery operations. Approximately 35,700 barrels of oil were recovered by April 16. Booms were deployed as a precautionary measure at recreational beaches. The booms held some slicks offshore, but storms eventually blew the booms and the oil onto the beaches. At Arenzano, Cogoleto, and Varazze, the oil settled 1-2 inches into the fine sand beaches, and up to 1 foot into the coarse grained beaches. Shoreline cleanup was conducted by authorities local to the oiled areas. Cleanup was done by volunteers and the army, and consisted mostly of manual removal of oil and oiled debris. Vacuum trucks were used to pick up the larger pools of oil. Approximately 26,140 cubic yards of oiled debris were collected.

Surveys using side-scanning sonar, subbottom profiling, and remotely operated vehicles located areas under the track of the vessel where oil had sunk. Diving operations were attempted to recover some of the sunken oil. Suction operations cleaned burned oil residue from the main wreck, and divers managed to control some of the underwater leaks.

References Genwest Systems, Inc. communications with ITOPF representatives. International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund Annual Report 1991. pp.58-70. Italian Spill Hits French Riviera, Oil Continues to Leak from Tanker. Oil Spill Intelligence Report. Vol. XIV, No. 15. April 25, 1991. p.2. Officials Fear Italian Spill May Impact French Riviera. Oil Spill Intelligence Report. Vol. XIV, No. 14. April 18, 1991. pp.1-2. Winds Prevent Further Damage to French Riviera. Oil Spill Intelligence Report. Vol. XIV, No. 16. May 2, 1991. pp.3-4.


source IOPC
type A
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1995 Annual Report of the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund:-

A summary enquiry into the cause of the incident (HAVEN) was conducted by the Genoa Port Authority pursuant to the Code of Navigation. The summary enquiry concluded that there had been negligence both on the part of the ship-owner and on the part of the crew, but that the negligence of the owner had no link of causation with the incident. The report on the summary enquiry has no legal value.

The Panel of Enquiry for the Ligurian area carried out a formal enquiry into the cause of the Haven incident. The Panel held public hearings from November 1991 to February 1992. Crew members and other persons were heard by the Panel, and extensive documentation was examined.

In its report, the Panel of Enquiry discussed 3 possible causes of the incident: structural failure in central tank No.1, leakage of cargo into central tank No.2 which was a dedicated ballast tank, and an explosion in the pump room. The Panel concluded that it could not establish the cause. Nevertheless, the Panel deemed that the master, the chief mate, the chief engineer and the ship-owner had been guilty of negligence or gross negligence. The Panel also held that the owner had been guilty of gross negligence for not having ensured the efficiency of certain essential equipment before allowing the ship to return to commercial operation, for not having ordered the ship to stop sailing in view of the certain technical problems which had arisen and for not having informed the classification society that one inert gas generator was out of order.


source HOOKE
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Haven arrived Genoa 1991-03-08 with 220,000 tons on board. Part discharged 90,000 tons April 7th thru 9th. Went back to anchorage. On April 11th massive explosion. Most of crew lept overboard. 27 picked up, all of whom were suffering from burns and shock. Six of 35 man crew killed.

It was subsequently reported that the master of the Haven had requested permission to wash out an empty tank after anchoring in Genoa Roads. During the course of this activity, it would appear that petroleum gas in the tank was ignited, possibly by an electric spark, causing the explosion shortly after crude residues had been pumped out
The Haven had sustained serious damage in the Iran-Iraq war being hit off Dubai on March 31, 1988. Underwent major repair work in Singapore from June 1988 to December,1990. She sailed from Singapore on 1990-12-24 for Kharg Island. In January 1991 she loaded her first cargo in three years, proceeded to Cadiz where she anchored on February 14th, and then proceeded to Genoa.


source LINK
type D
volume
material
dead 5
link http://www.haven/it/

This is the official Italian site. It is long on multimedia and short on cause. But it does contain the following facts.

Haven arrived Genoa 1991-03-08 and anchored until 1991-04-07. She discharged at Porto Petrol from the 7th thru the 9th, and then returned to anchorage with 144,000 tons of Iran Heavy and 1200 tons of bunkers still on board. At 1230 on the 11th, during cargo balancing operations, explosion from hold 1 to hold 3 occurred. 5 dead including master, 3 crew and 1 technician.


source 1995 Annual Report Int. Oil Pollution Compensation Fund
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volume
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A summary enquiry into the cause of the incident (HAVEN) was conducted by the Genoa Port Authority pursuant to the Code of Navigation. The summary enquiry concluded that there had been negligence both on the part of the ship-owner and on the part of the crew, but that the negligence of the owner had no link of causation with the incident. The report on the summary enquiry has no legal value.

The Panel of Enquiry for the Ligurian area carried out a formal enquiry into the cause of the Haven incident. The Panel held public hearings from November 1991 to February 1992. Crew members and other persons were heard by the Panel, and extensive documentation was examined.

In its report, the Panel of Enquiry discussed 3 possible causes of the incident: structural failure in central tank No.1, leakage of cargo into central tank No.2 which was a dedicated ballast tank, and an explosion in the pump room. The Panel concluded that it could not establish the cause. Nevertheless, the Panel deemed that the master, the chief mate, the chief engineer and the ship-owner had been guilty of negligence or gross negligence. The Panel also held that the owner had been guilty of gross negligence for not having ensured the efficiency of certain essential equipment before allowing the ship to return to commercial operation, for not having ordered the ship to stop sailing in view of the certain technical problems which had arisen and for not having informed the classification society that one inert gas generator was out of order.


source CTX
type C
volume 140000T
material
dead 5
link

CTX so far has been unable to get to the bottom of this spill which resulted in a protracted set of legal proceedings, including manslaughter charges being brought against the owners, Lucas and Stelios Hadjiannou, who operated under the name Troodos.

CTX doubts that the war damage was a factor, at least not directly. This ship was hit by an Iranian gunboat. The report of the 1981-03-31 attack confirms that the damage was aft. It's pretty clear that this casualty started up forward. The war damage did take a long time to repair. It is possible that the long stay in the Singapore yard was an opportunity for corrosion in the tanks. Normally, no tanks are kept inerted during an extended repair. It is difficult to do so on a ship without power and a safety hazard for the ship workers.

There seem to be two main theories:

  1. Tank was over-pressurized due to IG vent being closed as tank was filled. In other words crew screw-up. This is the story that the owner's lawyers put forward.
  2. Structural problems in way of the 2C the segregated ballast tank caused crew to be working in this tank. Some combination of cargo vapors leaking into this tank and this work resulted in the explosion.
CTX has not yet seen either the Genoa Port Authority not the Ligurian Panel of Enquiry report. We have also not seen the flag state report, but Cyprus reports are generally worthless. But at this point CTX leans to structural problems in 2C for the following reasons:
  1. Troodos to put it politely was a second tier owner. Hadjiannou was proud of the fact that he was a very low cost operator. This ship, the ex-Amoco Milfordhaven, was a sister ship to the Amoco Cadiz. Using a portion of the old name to save a dollar or two was a typical Troodos move.
  2. This whole trip is suspicious. Why did the ship hang off Cadiz for so long? And then why did hang off Genoa for a month? And then why was the discharge interrupted with over 140,000 tons of crude still on-board? A Genoa dive site says after having discharged part of its load, takes its way back to area in front of the harbor, in order to resume some maintenance works on board.
  3. The Captain's request to clean a cargo tank on a ship that was still mostly loaded is extremely unusual. He would not have had to make any such request if it were a normal crude oil wash. The only explanation is that he needed to get in the tank, and no tankerman inspects a cargo tank while a ship is loaded, a very dangerous procedure, unless he absolutely has to. He must have been very worried about something in that tank. [It would help if we knew which tank he wanted to wash.]
  4. The Italian report talks about cargo balancing operations. Why would he be moving cargo from one tank to another on a partially discharged ship? This too is rarely done. For one thing, the charterers forbid it, since it screws up all the cargo survey numbers, and is regarded as an opportunity by the owner to steal cargo. The only plausible reason is that he had a leak and needed to get cargo out of the tank that was leaking in order to stop the leak. Even then he probably wouldn't take such drastic action if the leak was from one cargo tank to another. Everyone seems to agree that there was no leakage overboard before the explosion. Most likely, the leak was from a cargo tank to a segregated ballast tank. This ship had only one segregated ballast tank, 2C.
  5. Most importantly, the Italian description talks about an explosion from hold 1 to hold 3, that is, the two cargo tanks at either end of 2C. The photos shows the fire was concentrated well forward, and the ship broke in two well-forward. At a minimum, this rules out the pump room explosion theory.
  6. Over-pressurization of a tank is not that uncommon, but shouldn't in itself start a fire. It the tanks are properly inerted, the only thing that happens is a bulkhead is deformed, and maybe you get a deck spill. You certainly do not get an immediate massive explosion straddling three tanks longitudinally. And Iranian Heavy is not a particularly volatile crude.
  7. The Captain, a "technician", and three crew were killed. This suggests the Captain and the technician were forward at the time. Possibly they were in a tank. We need to know. And it would be interesting to know what kind of technician.
  8. Afterwards there were wide-spread rumours on the Greek waterfront that (a) hotwork was underway at the time of the explosion, and (b) that Troodos was experimenting with ballast tank inerting. CTX gives little weight to (a). It is the kind of rumour you would expect whether or not it has any validity. But (b) is not. (b) is very unusual. It hints that Troodos knew the real cause of the explosion.
For now CTX is calling the initial cause of this explosion, probable leakage into a segregated ballast tank as a result of wastage.

Italian courts tried Hadjiannou and son for manslaughter on grounds of a poorly maintained ship. They were eventually acquitted. Troodos laid the blame at the feet of the Chief Officer. There was some talk of witness tampering.

The Court of Genoa in its judgement of 1997-11-21, No 945, failed to find any definite cause for the damage and therefore the defendents were acquitted. The various claims were eventually settled in an out of court agreement. CTX needs to get the Italian reports and the trial records. And CTX needs somebody who can read Italian.

The Haven was insured for 30MM USD, which was far more than her market value at the time.