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The British tanker British Lantern is stranded on a sandbar Everinge in the Westerschelde. After a failed attempt to set the tanker afloat with 16 tugboats, a part of the oil load is pumped over into barges. The Belgian barge Odila suffered an explosion and had to be beached. A large amount of oil s

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I sailed with the Chief Officer who was aboard at the time and he spoke of how the 16 tugs swarmed around the ship shortly after she ran aground and tried to push her off. After that failed soundings were taken and it was found if they had pulled with the engines ahead they would have been in deep water as she was nearly over the spit of sand. The two barges used to lighten ship were "Black Oil" vessels and not used for 'flammable' cargoes. The officers aboard British Lantern warned the barges several times not to smoke or use the Galley fires after they looked down and saw that was happening. The discharge finally finished and as the Navigating Apprentice screwed the last ullage cap down the one of the barges blew up throwing blazing oil on the deck of British Lantern. Crew were present at each end of the main deck and quickly had the fire hoses going and washed the fire overboard. One barge sank and the other cast drifted ashore.

I have posted the story from BP Magazine of the incident ...


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Maritime Casualties & Breaking Yards
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