Several sources says "pilot error in dealing with 2 fishing vessels,
UK Telegraph says "calm seas and clear weather"
but also says "hits Nakanose coral reef".
Coral doesn't grow this far north.
Puts spill at 13000T.
Ships was a MARPOL single hull built just 3 years earlier..
Here is a case where the protectively located segregated ballast really worked,
but not in the way the proponents of this "anti-collision" measure claimed
but in the way that the proponents of the various systems
for transfer of cargo away from damaged tanks claimed.
The real value of double sides is not in collisions
but in a grounding where they will automatically collect oil
in the same manner.
But in the IMO system for calculating outflows
this capability is ignored.
Of course, this ship is a modern VLCC
with only 14 very tall cargo tanks plus two slops.
A pre-Marpol single hull of this size would have about 24 shorter tanks.
The interesting question is would a pre-marpol ship
with smaller, shorter tanks have spilled more or less.
To answer this question we need the exact location of the damage.
The lack of understanding of the physics of hydrostatic
balance on the part of the response team is dismaying.
You would think that this is the first thing they would be taught.
As to cause,
CTX has not read the Yokohama Inquiry Report,
which to our knowledge has not been translated;
but, reading between the lines,
it sounds like pilot was placed in a real dilemma.
If he doesn't slow down, he runs down the fishing vessels.
If he slows down, he loses steerageway and drifts aground.
If this were the case,
twin screw would probably have prevented this spill.
CTX needs a lot more information on this very interesting casualty.
CTX needs somebody who can translate the Japanese investigation reports.