On July 5, 2003 the Tank Ship ZEUS was heading north on the Neches River.
According to a statement from the Master of the SS NITA M,
at approximately 1750,
while passing the TGS Port Neches Terminal,
the Tank Ship ZEUS produced a ship surge
that caused the SS NITA M to surge forward and recoil
against a dock, vertical columns, breasting structures, and a piling
causing two stern lines and a forward spring line to break.
Thus, resulting in the SS NITA M striking a nearby jetty.
The dock and a downstream buoy were found damaged (est. $1,000,000).
Additionally, a flange seal for one of the pipelines
protruding from the dock was found broken
and believed to be the source of a sheen observed on the water
(estimated total quantity: 20 gallons).
TGLO and USCG were notified and response was taken with
deployment of containment boom and absorption pads.
A Pollution Investigator from MSO Port Arthur, investigated the incident
and discovered that the SS NITA M's
mooring lines snapped due to the initial tidal surge
from the Tank Ship ZEUS.
However, when the crew began working to replace the broken lines,
another ship passed the SS NITA M causing her to crash into the dock,
which broke a flange seal on an 18" pipeline.
Thus, causing diesel fuel to spill into the Neches river.