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After a collision with the trawler Diane Marie on 12 May 1990, the tanker the Rosebay, sailing from the Persian Gulf to Rotterdam, spilled 1,000 tonnes of crude oil in the open sea.

Authorities were particularly worried as this incident occurred at the beginning of the tourist season. Oil slicks were threatening the beaches of south Devon. Response operations were set up immediately. The remaining oil was transferred to another tanker.

Dispersant spraying operations helped removing between 50 and 75 % of the spilled oil from the sea. This process was enhanced by evaporation and natural dispersion. As a result only a small amount of mousse reached the coast.


  • CD Rom: International Oil Spill Conference, Proceedings: Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Restoration – Perspectives for a Cleaner Environment, Vancouver, April 6-11, 2003

Name: Rosebay

Date: 12 May 1990

Location: England, Channel

Accident area: off the coast of Brixham, Devon

Cause of spill: collision

Type of pollutant: crude oil

Quantity spilled: 1,000 tonnes

Ship type: oil tanker

Flag: Liberian


Last update: June 2011

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