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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Al Samidoon KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 5
source CARGOLAW
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284,890 dwt, Kuwaiti-flag M/T Al Samidoon (built 1992) leaked estimated 100 tons of crude oil into Suez Canal following incident near Ismailiya, late Dec.14. -- collision with either pier or dredger, rupturing tank. Entered with UK Club and classed by DNV. Reports say Canal staff engaged in clean-up work while 2nd company vessel preparing to take on M/T Al Samidoon's cargo -- 10 miles of Canal said affected by spill. (Thurs Dec. 16 2004)


source DNV Clasification News
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In December, 2004, a huge quantity of crude oil was spilt in the Suez Canal after the north-bound very large crude carrier Al Samidoon collided with a structure in the waterway while in transit. An inquiry into the cause of the incident to the Kuwait Oil Tanker Company (KOTC) vessel, which had Suez Canal pilots embarked, has begun. Speaking to Classification News, KOTC fleet engineering and project group manager Mahmoud Abdullah recently shared his views on the cause of the December Suez oil spill.

“On December 14, 2004, Al Samidoon, whilst transiting through the Suez Canal under the control of two pilots of the Suez Canal Authorities and loaded with 198,000 tons of crude oil, struck the bank of the canal in an effort to avoid collision with a moored dredger.

The vessel was in very good condition at the time of the accident. Recently dry-docked, Al Samidoon had obtained a Condition Assessment Program (CAP) rating of ONE for the hull and was on her first loaded passage after drydock when the accident occurred.

Suez Canal pilots were onboard and manoeuvring the vessel at the time of the collision. However, under traditional maritime law, it is the master/company which is held responsible for any accident, not the pilot – even though common sense dictates that the pilots should be held responsible in the Al Samidoon case.

In the case of Al Samidoon, the damage was extensive. The vessel is currently undergoing damage-repair work in Dubai Drydocks, and at this stage the initial estimate of the steel renewal has doubled to 550 tonnes. The total cost is expected to exceed USD 5 million, with no final figure in sight.

In this day and age and considering the complexity of the shipping industry, we believe it is time for such traditional laws to be updated to be more in tune with reality.”

(NOTE: Mr. Abdullah’s views do not necessarily reflect the views of Det Norske Veritas.)


source ITOPF
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The Al Samidoon (2004) incident arose from a grounding in the central reaches of the Suez Canal. Approximately 9000 tons of Kuwait Medium crude was spilled. The response was handled entirely by the Suez Canal Authority, initially by the application of dispersants. As the oil moved north along the Canal, efforts were made to recover the oil suing booms and skimmers. The slicks migrated to the north where they appeared inthe Mediterranean as sheens and tarballs.


source Priority issues in the Med
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Grounding.


source CTX
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KOTC would be expected to blame the pilots but the fact that Abdullah went public with his complaint, almost certainly means that there was no mechanical failure on-board. Of course, these single screw ships are designed with very poor maneuverability. Twin screw might have helped, but without more data we cant be sure.

This VLCC is a Marpol single hull. Double hull might well have helped on this one, but given the amount of steel replaced we can't be sure. Need penetration data.

Probable guidance error abetted by lack of maneuverabiity.

Cargolaw's estimate of the spill volume seems inconsistent with the amount of damage. even though this VLCC would only be part loaded transiting the canal northbound. ITOPF seems high but ITOPF, an owners orgnization, is not likely to underestimate spill volume, so CTX is using their figure. Might be a typo.