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M/V Arrow Oil Spill circa 1970

ARROW was an enlarged version of the standard American wartime tanker design. She was one of the oldest tankers in the fleet of Aristotle Onassis, owned by the holding company Sunstone Marine Panama. At only 11379 Tons, she is about the size of  AlgoCanada, one of the many products tankers that frequent Halifax.

On February 4, 1970 ARROW was approaching Port Hawkesbury under charter to Imperial Oil Limited and just about to complete a voyage from Aruba. She was carrying 10 million litres of Bunker “C” oil bound for a paper company near Point Tupper. Entering Chedabucto Bay, the tanker encountered severe weather and gale force winds. She ran aground on Cerberus Rock, a well-known navigational hazard that lies in wait just below the surface of the bay. While it initially appeared that there was no threat of fuel leakage, the heavy weather continued to pound the stricken tanker.

Imperial Oil issued an oil spill alert and the crew were evacuated. By the next day, an oil slick one mile long had formed and on the 8th, the ship finally split in two, with the stern sinking in deeper water. Attempts to take off the cargo were not successful nor were the attempts to recover her stern. In all, about 10,330 tons of fuel were spilled, coating 75 miles of the shoreline with thick black sludge threatening wildlife and the fishery.

Shore cleanup was a long difficult process as was the transfer of what was left of the oil aboard ARROW to the barge, IRVING WHALE (Ironically the IRVING WHALE became an another environmental concern a few months later when she sank off Prince Edward Island with oil and PCBs which had to be recovered in 1996.) The final retrieval of oil from the ARROW wreck was completed on April 11 and pioneered many clean-up techniques used in later tanker disasters.

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British Merlin Arrives – Svitzer Nerthus gets a Job

The Disabled Tanker British Merlin arrived after midnight this morning, and took to anchorage 1. She was towed to port by Maersk Cutter, and Helped to Anchor by Altantic Oak and Willow.

Once she took up anchor, Svitzer Nerthus went along side to provide propulsion if needed.

British Merlin suffered from an engine failure enroute from Whiffen Head NL to Philidephia.

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Recent Incidents

ShipSpotting.com
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The MSC Monica Grounded Thursday in the St.Lawrence between Trois Rivers and Quebec. Sailing from Montreal for Saint John New Brunswick, She apparentl suffered from a Rudder failure and drifted off course.

She was refloated, by tugs OCEAN TUNDRA, OCEAN BRAVO, and OCEAN ROSS GAUDRAULT and tied up in Quebec Yesterday.

The Oil tanker British Merlin, suffered an Engine failure sailing form Whiffen Head NL to Philadelphia PA. She is currently under tow by the Anchor Handling tug Maersk Cutter, and is due in Halifax tomorrow.

British Merlin is Owned by BP and has British registry. More to follow on both these stories.

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