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Continental Lotus

SpillsContinental Lotus

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.


  • IMO/UNEP/MAP/REMPEC, 2004, List of alerts and accidents in the Mediterranean
  • BERTRAND Alain R., 2000, Transport maritime et pollution accidentelle par le pétrole, Editions Technip
  • OECD, 2001, The cost to users of substandard shipping
  • HOOKE Norman, 1997, Maritime casualties 1963-1996, second edition, LLP Limited, London
  • Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, 2002, FSA Study on bulk carrier safety conducted by Japan

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

Flag: Indian

Last update: 8 June 2010

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