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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Svangen KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 3
source LMIU
type C
volume
material
dead
link

In distress with leakage in engine-room in 36 18.5 N 02 45.7 W Nov 10 1991 Abandoned by crew Sank soon after.


source SSY
type C
volume
material
dead
link

Sank on ballast voyage from Caen to Piraeus after developing leak in engine room.


source CTX
type D
volume 180000L
material
dead 0
link

This is probably an insurance fraud. Hull insurers contested this loss pointing out that the owner was in deep financial trouble. But arbitrators decided they did not have a strong enough case Here's one unconvinced commentator.

In Svangen, unreported Particular Average Statement 29 March 1995, no. 2978, the Average Adjuster required the insurer to show preponderant likelihood of intentional causation of the ship’s sinking. The Adjuster found that the alleged opening of the ships two mud boxes” could have caused the sinking; but that both of these could not have been deliberately opened simultaneously. The facts that the ship was old, that her valuation has just been raised considerably and that she sank in quiet weather off Gibraltar in a part of the Mediterranean so deep that the vessel could not be investigated were not considered material.

This was a very obtuse arbitrator. You can flood an engine room in a tanker in ballast, and it will not come close to sinking.

Rempec puts the spill at the 180 tons on bunkers that was on board. If this number is correct, the ship had about four days of fuel left. Prudent owners always keep at least 5 days of fuel on board. Anyway she could not make it to Piraeus.