On 21 January 1991, the Indian bulk carrier Continental Lotus was travelling from Mormugao (India) to Genova (Italy), when she suffered a crack in her hull in the eastern Mediterranean.
The ship sank 300 km east of Malta Island with its cargo of 51,600 tonnes of iron ore. During this accident, 4 crew members were rescued but 12 were reported missing and 26 died.
In this particular case, the cargo was not a hazard as it was an inert substance. The potential pollutant was the oil used as fuel, stored in the bunker tanks.
Name: Continental Lotus
Date: 21 January 1991
Location: Eastern Mediterranean
Accident area: 300 km east of Malta Island
Cause of spill: damage to ship
Quantity transported: 51,600 tonnes
Type of pollutant: iron ore
Quantity spilled: 51,600 tonnes
Ship type: bulk carrier
Built date: 1967
Last update: 8 June 2010