ship built in 1980

The Oostzee was a small Dutch freight ship on which a serious toxic accident occurred on the Lower Elbe (Germany) in July 1989.

History change

1980 to 1989 change

The ship was built in 1980 at the Martin-Jansen shipyard in Leer/Ostfriesland. The hull number was 163 and it was named Oostzee. It was built for the Rotterdam shipping company Noordlijn. This company was a owned by the Haren-Emser shipping company Intersee Schiffahrtsgesellschaft. From 1981 to 1983 the ship was operated as Savonia. It was under the management of Intersee and then sold by Noordlijn to the company "Noordzee" in Delfzijl. Noordzee operated it again in the following years under the management of Scheepvaartbedrijf Noordlijn, Emmen under the name Oostzee.

Poison accident in 1989 change

In July 1989, the Oostzee was on a voyage from Rotterdam through the Kiel Canal to Leningrad. The cargo in the ship's hold included barbed wire, silica sand, zinc ingots and 3913 barrels containing about 850 tons of epichlorohydrin. On the voyage from Rotterdam to the Elbe, the freighter encountered bad weather, during which some of the dangerous goods barrels slipped. In the process, about 40 barrels leaked. At the time, Günter Hollmann, a member of the "Oostzee" crisis team, said that improper storage of the toxic barrels was to blame. Contrary to the regulations, the barrels had been placed directly on the floor of the ship and had not been stacked properly. [1]

On July 18, 1989, the ship arrived at the Kiel Canal, where it was prevented from continuing its voyage due to cargo damage that had already resulted in a chloroform-like odor on board. First the ship was referred to the Neuwerk roadstead and the crew was rescued.

Consideration was given to taking the ship to the manufacturing company Dow Chemical in Bützfleth, to Hamburg or to Cuxhaven, which was rejected in each case due to the proximity to residential areas.Ultimately, the Oostzee was taken to the Elbe port in Brunsbüttel to discharge the damaged cargo. The corresponding work lasted for more than three weeks and resulted in a number of accidents due to a lack of protection against the extremely harmful epichlorohydrin and its compounds.

As a result, numerous aid workers, police officers and sailors became ill and died of cancer.[2]

1989 to 2009 change

After the accident, the ship was initially operated by Noordlijn and then sold in 1994 to the Nedlloyd subsidiary K.N.S.M.-Kroonburgh in Rotterdam, where it was operated as Louise Green by the shipping company General Shipping & Chartering Services (GenChart) until 1996. From January 1996, the ship was owned as Trinity Square by Gulfranger Shipping Company in Limassol and operated by Vertom Scheepvaart- und Handelsmaatschappij in Rotterdam. Further stations were from October/November 1998 as Sandy Cay for C. Rehder Schiffsmakler und Reederei in Limassol, from July 1999 as Nordica for Unisand Shipping Company in Limassol under management of N.C. Schiffahrtsbüro in Bremerhaven and chartering by Wilhelm Tietjen Befrachtungsgesellschaft in Hamburg, from October 2004 Lady Rea for Rea Maritime Corporation in Panama and finally from August 2006 as Evgeniy Vasilyev for Dream Hills Trading in Panama under management of DSL Shipping in Limassol. At the end of 2009, the freighter was finally taken out of service and sold for demolition. In December 2009, the freighter arrived at the last port for scrapping in China.

Importance change

The Oostzee poison accident is still one of the best-known shipping accidents on the Elbe and attracted a great deal of media attention at the time due to the numerous mishaps during the handling process.[3][4] [5] At the time, the accident was the reason for the Federal Ministry of Transport to build and convert existing units into so-called gas protection ships, which can be used in the event of chemical accidents at sea. The accident continues to be a case study that is mentioned again and again on the subject of the risks involved in transporting dangerous goods.[6][7][8][9]

Technology change

Superstructure and engine plant were located aft. The ship's propulsion system consisted of a six-cylinder, four-stroke diesel engine made by MWM, which delivered its power of up to 3000 hp to the fixed-pitch propeller via a gearbox. Two electro-hydraulic cranes were arranged on the port side.

References change

  1. "Oostzee"; Nach Unfall schärfere Vorschriften?, In: Die Welt 9. August 1989
  2. Olaf Kanter (2023-08-15), "Havarie des Frachters »Oostzee«: Gift an Bord", Der Spiegel (in German), ISSN 2195-1349, retrieved 2023-08-15
  3. Aus allen Ritzen, In: Der Spiegel 31/1989, 31. Juli 1989, S. 27/28.
  4. Fritz Vorholz: Das schwimmende Restrisiko, In: Die Zeit Nr. 32, 4. August 1989.
  5. Töne aus dem Typhon, In: Der Spiegel 33/1989, 14. August 1989, S. 71/72.
  6. Michael Legband: Giftfrachter „Oostzee“ – Ein Skandal erreicht Hamburg, In: Die Welt, 5. Juli 1999, S. 44.
  7. Mervin F. Fingas: Handbook of Hazardous Materials Spills Technology, McGraw Hill Professional, 2001, ISBN 978-0-07-139538-0
  8. Susanne Kopte: Ätzend! Giftig! Explosiv!, In: Mare, Juni 2003, No. 38.
  9. Eigel Wiese: Unglück auf der „Oostzee“ – Erst das Gift, dann das Chaos, In: Hamburger Abendblatt, 26. Juli 2014.

Other websites change