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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Eagle Otome KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 5
source Tradewinds
type A
volume
material
dead 0
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The Eagle Otome (built 1994) spill is set to reignite a debate over the effective of double-hull tankers in high-impact collisions. AET's fully laden 95,600 dwt aframax tanker was involved in a collision with a tank barge and the moored 38,787-dwt bulker Gull Arrow (built 1982) in the narrow Sabine-Neches waterway in Port Arthur last weekend. The tank barge pierced the Eagle Otome's double hull leaving a 15 foot long gash in its side, resulting in the loss of 1400 tons of oil. Gearbulk's Gull Arrow suffered only minor damage.

An AET official tells Tradwinds that reports of mechanical failure its tanker leading to the incident were incorrect.


source Houston Chronicle
type A
volume
material Mexican crude
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PORT ARTHUR SPILL Coast Guard reveals details, but no cause to oil spill By JENNIFER LATSON Copyright 2010 Houston Chronicle Jan. 26, 2010, 11:05PM

A clearer picture emerged Tuesday of the collision that triggered the biggest Texas oil spill in 15 years, as cleanup efforts continued apace and officials planned to reopen the waterway by Thursday.

While Coast Guard officials have not released details of a possible cause for the wreck, a chain reaction began when the Eagle Otome, an 800-foot tanker loaded with Mexican crude oil, veered inexplicably off course and into the path of an oncoming barge, slamming into a cargo carrier moored at the port of Port Arthur.

In the narrow section of shipping channel, there was nowhere for the barge to go but forward, into the Eagle Otome's hull. Both crashes occurred within a matter of seconds — no more than a minute or two, shortly after 9:30 a.m., officials said. “If you were on a two-lane highway in a car, it would be the same as veering to the left and hitting a parked car in the shoulder. Then an oncoming vehicle hits you,” said Floyd Gaspard, the port's executive director. “Unlike on the highway, if you slam on the brakes you don't skid to a stop. They can shut the engine off, throw it in reverse, but it will not stop the forward movement. If they could have, they would have.”

The Eagle Otome was piloting upriver from the Gulf of Mexico on the Sabine-Neches Waterway, headed toward Exxon Mobil's Beaumont refinery. It crossed out of its shipping lane to the left, hitting a moored cargo carrier off-loading Brazilian wood pulp at the port. Meanwhile, the barge was headed down-river with a load of chemicals when it hit the ship's starboard side.

Coast Guard officials originally reported that an unexpected power loss forced the Eagle Otome off course, but they have since retracted that report without offering an alternate explanation. They are reviewing radio transmissions and the ship's log and are interviewing witnesses to piece together the moments before the crash, which ripped a hole in the tanker's hull and spilled 462,000 gallons of oil.


source USCG Press Release
type A
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At 0915 on 23JAN2010, NOAA Emergency Response Division was notified by the NWS Weather Forecast Office (WFO)in Lake Charles, LA of a collision between a crude oil tanker (T/V Eagle Otome) and a barge in Port Arthur, TX. The contents of the barge are not currently known. USCG informed the NOAA SSC that they suspected H2S had been released. The tanker was reported to contain crude oil with a capacity of several hundred thousand barrels. [Actual cargo cubic is 660,000 barrels.] According to local news reports, the collision occurred shortly before 10:00 AM local time. Local law enforcement informed the WFO that noxious fumes were coming from both vessels and that they have initiated evacuations of residents and workers in and around the Port of Port Arthur. The WFO has produced a dilution contour plume footprint using HYSPLIT. The Sabine-Neches Ship Channel and Intracoastal Waterway have been closed.


source OTTO
type C
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An oil spill struck Texas's Sabine River on Saturday 23rd January after a collision between a tanker and a barge. An estimated 1,460 tonnes of crude spilled near Port Arthur after the 1994 built 95,700 tanker Eagle Otome suffered damage in the crash, according to the US Coat Guard.

The tanker was involved in a collision with one of two barges being towed by the tug Dixie Vengeance. Some of the oil in the Eagle Otome was transferred to an undamaged tank to minimise the spillage. There were no reports of injuries. It was reported by Tradewinds that the Coast Guard was investigating the incident and that the Eagle Otome reportedly lost power and the pilot onboard was unable to steer the vessel. The US Coast Guard was forced to close the Sabine Neches Waterway between mile markers 276 and 289.


source CTX
type C
volume
material Mexican crude
dead
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Photos show a two barge two oil/chemical barge tow hit the STARBOARD side of the Otome at about 45 degees right around the deep waterline at about the aft FP tank bulkhead. The lead barge had a square bow. Another photo with the ship more out of the water shows the damage extends from maybe 2 m above the deep loadline to about a meter below. This is the worst possible situation hydrostatically, and means that essentially all the tank's contents will be lost.

The Eagle Otome is a double hull ship with ten cargo tanks, 4 centers, and 3 each side. Pretty obviously, 1S was penetrated. 1S probably has a capacity of over 5,000 m3. So one question is: why wasn't the spill bigger? Oil from 1S would have flowed into the FP tank and the 1S_B wing ballast tank; but eventually most of this oil would have been displaced by water and lost. It sounds like 1S was part-loaded; but we need the ship's loading pattern to confirm or deny this.

Photos clearly indicate the Eagle Otome turned to port in front of the tow in the very narrow waterway, and then went on to hit the bulk carrier discharging on the far (west) side of the waterway.

It's conceivable that some screw up on the bridge, perhaps exacerbated by bank suction effect could have caused this. If so twin screw might have been a big help. A single screw ship proceeding as slowly as possible in a very confined waterway has nil maneuverability.

But based on what we know now, a far more likely scenario --- despite the USCG retraction and the AET claim --- is some sort of steering or other mechanical failure. For now we are saying, possible mechanical failure with a very low sure rating of 1.