A human error caused the container ship MSC Rosa M sailing out of Le Havre in the Seine Bay on 30 November, to list at nearly 30°. The ship was towed in the direction of Cherbourg and deliberately ran aground outside of the harbour with a view to undertaking pumping operations to correct its list.
The cargo manifest indicated the
presence of containers with 70 tonnes of hazardous substances,
in particular flammable gases and liquids, and corrosive
and oxidizing substances.
Assessment of the risk water and air pollution was conditioned by an analysis of the risks linked to the chemicals onboard. This proved a difficult task, to be carried out not only on the basis of administrative documents (manifest, cargo planning) but also on direct observation of the state of the ship and its cargo.
It required close collaboration with the decision-making authorities, operational units, the port authorities where the ship had been loaded and the ship owner’s skilled representatives. The list was finally reduced and the risk assessment was completed. The ship entered Cherbourg harbour to be partially unloaded and to be repaired.
Name: MSC Rosa M
Date: 30 November 1997
Accident area: Seine Bay
Cause of spill: damage to ship
Quantity transported: 70 tonnes
Type of pollutants:gas and flammable liquids, corrosive and oxidizing substances
Ship type: container ship
Last update: April 2006