On 1st January 1987 at 6 am, the German container ship Kini Kersten, coming from Ireland and heading for Rotterdam, missed the Casquets shipping lane off the Cotentin peninsula and ran aground on Rozel beach at full speed (13 knots) before it stopped on the sand. Its hull was torn, causing the spill of the contents of one of its bunkers (45 tonnes of heavy fuel).
very gradual slope of the seabed beyond the beach meant that tug
boats could not approach the ship to refloat it rapidly. It had
to be moored so that it would not move. Three of its bunkers were
emptied (245 m³) including the one which had been torn during the
grounding. A causeway was created on the beach to allow a crane
to remove the containers. The operation lasted until 9 January.
A channel was dug in the beach, to release the ship during mid-January’s
strong tidal range period. The operation succeeded at the second
attempt on 18 January.
A localized oil response operation was led throughout this period, integrating the protection of the surrounding marine farming areas, coastal and beach cleaning, then finally the removal of oily waste.
Name: Kini Kersten
Date: 1 January 1987
Accident area: Rozel beach (Cotentin Peninsula)
Cause of spill: grounding
Type of pollutant: heavy fuel
Quantity spilled: 45 tonnes
Ship type: container ship
Last update: April 2006