Amoco Cadiz Oil Spill – France

On March 16, 1978, the Amoco Cadiz ran aground on Portsall Rocks, three miles off the coast of Brittany due to failure of the steering mechanism. The vessel had been en route from the Arabian Gulf to Le Havre, France when it encountered stormy weather which contributed to the grounding. The entire cargo of 1,619,048 barrels, spilled into the sea. A slick 18 miles wide and 80 miles long polluted approximately 200 miles of Brittany coastline. Beaches of 76 different Breton communities were oiled. The isolated location of the grounding and rough seas restricted cleanup efforts for the two weeks following the incident. Severe weather resulted in the complete break up of the ship before any oil could be pumped out of the wreck. As mandated in the “Polmar Plan”, the French Navy was responsible for all offshore operations while the Civil Safety Service was responsible for shore cleanup activities. Although the total quantity of collected oil and water reached 100,000 tons, less than 20,000 tons of oil were recovered from this liquid after treatment in refining plants. Keyword: Adverse weather conditions, boom, skimmer, vacuum truck, manual removal, high-pressure hot water washing, sub-surface oil, remote response, BP 1100X, Finasol OSR, BP 1100WD, Finasol OSR-5, chalk, low pressure washing, disposal.

Amoco Cadiz Oil Spill Response Documents

USCG Case History 1978-Mar-16
Behavior of Oil 1978-Mar-16
USCG Case History 1978-Mar-16
Other Special Interest 1978-Mar-16
References 1978-Mar-16
Countermeasures/ Mitigation 1978-Mar-16
Shoreline Types Impacted 1978-Mar-16
Other Special Interest Issues 1978-Mar-16