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.
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.