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On 28 September 1983, the Iranian tanker the Sivand rammed into a jetty at the Immingham oil terminal in the Humber estuary. Tanks ruptured and more than 6,000 tonnes of Nigerian light crude oil spilled in the estuary. The oil slick caused a significant amount of pollution on the shoreline.


The Marine Pollution Control Unit (MPCU) of the Department of Transport was immediately contacted by the Coast Guards. 6 tugs and 4 aircraft were sent on site to spray dispersants. The vessel spraying operation started on the morning of the incident. The aircraft could only be used in the afternoon because of the meteorological conditions. The spraying operations ended on 30 September.

In the meantime, skimmers were used to recover oil from the estuary. Beaches were cleaned with front end loaders and shovels. Booms were deployed at Immigham between the docks, and oil was recovered using skimmers. On 2nd October, a helicopter deployed booms to protect the creek in the Blacktoft Sands Nature Reserve.

Response operations ended on 11 October.

Impact and compensation

The oil slick seriously damaged the estuary. This area was of particular scientific interest and an large number of birds used to live there. At least 4,000 of them were oiled. The shoreline, mudflats and saltmarshes were also impacted. Some oiled fishing nets were also found.

Total costs for cleaning operation amounted to $300,000 (246,300 euros).

Name: Sivand

Date: 28 September 1983

Location: England

Accident area: Humber estuary

Cause of spill: grounding

Quantity transported: 190,000 tonnes

Type of pollutant: Nigerian light crude oil

Quantity spilled: 6,000 tonnes

Ship type: oil tanker

Date built: 1971

Shipyard: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, Nagasaki

Length: 326 m

Width: 48.77 m

Flag: Iranian

Owner: National Iranian Tanker Co.



  • NOAA, Oil spill case histories 1967-1991, Report No. HMRAD 92-11 to the US Coast Guard Research and Development Center
  • SCHIDT ETKIN, Dagmar, Dr, Financial Costs of Oil Spills Worldwide, Cutter Information Corp. (publisher of the weekly Oil Spill Intelligence Report newsletter), 1998
  • CD Rom: International Oil Spill Conference, Proceedings: Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Restoration – Perspectives for a Cleaner Environment, Vancouver, April 6-11, 2003

Last update: June 2011

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