24 October 2006, at around 4 a.m., the container ship the Rokia
Delmas, suffering from total engine failure, was driven ashore by
a storm on the south coast of the Ile de Ré. The vessel was
anchored, but the stern of the vessel hit a rocky outcrop, approximately
1 nautical mile south of Couarde sur mer. The vessel was mainly
transporting cocoa beans, wood and more than 500 tonnes of heavy fuel oil (IFO 380)
and 50 tonnes of marine diesel. Part of the crew was airlifted off
the vessel. The commanding officer and 5 members of the crew stayed
onboard to assist the intervention squads with their investigations.
The vessel showed a 20° list and a leak was detected. No pollution was observed. As a precautionary measure, the Polmar Land Plan for Charente Maritime was activated. Cedre was immediately mobilised and two advisors arrived at the La Rochelle response centre that evening. The Alcyon, a salvage, rescue and oil spill response vessel left Brest with containment and recovery equipment onboard to tackle any potential pollution, in addition to pumping equipment.
The same day, the first investigations onboard showed that it was impossible to refloat the vessel at high tide that evening. The following day, the dives carried out detected a breach 20 metres long by 50 centimetres wide, which confirmed that it would be impossible to tow the vessel in her current state.
Préfecture de département decided to protect the oyster
beds in the area using booms. The hydrocarbons floating in the tanks
of the vessel were pumped out and stored on barge. Two barges equipped
with skimmers and with a 10 m³ storage capacity were deployed.
Because of the proximity to the coast combined with the local currents,
the Préfecture Maritime placed a drift committee on pre-alert.
This committee was located in La Rochelle and was under the authority
of and led by the Cedre. On 30 October, 430 m³ of fuel were
pumped out of the tanks and stored on the Alcyon.
Name: Rokia Delmas
Date: 24 October 2006
Accident area: south of the island of Ile de Ré
Cause of spill: grounding
Products transported: cocoa beans, wood, 500 tonnes of heavy fuel oil (IFO 380) and 50 tonnes of marine diesel
Ship type: container ship (capacity: 1 446 TEU)
Date built: 1985
Length: 185 m
Owner: CMA CGM (France)
Last update: 15/01/08