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At dawn on 7th March 1980, the Madagascan vessel Tanio was sailing from Wilhemshaven (Germany) to Civitavecchia (Italy) when it was caught in a violent storm. The ship was passing the northern coasts of Finistère (France), as it left the Channel, when it split in two. The Tanio, carrying 26,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil (n° 6) and 900 tonnes of bunker fuel, sent out a distress signal.

Despite force 11 northwesterly winds, a British cargo tanker managed to quickly find the damaged vessel to the north of Batz island. Rescue operations were organised at once by the French Maritime Authority for the Atlantic, with the help of the French Navy's Operational Centre.
The bow of the vessel has split off from the stern and was floating vertically, while the stern heeled over and was drifting slowly. 6,000 tonnes of fuel oil were released into the sea.

In 50-knot winds, a French Navy helicopter airlifted 31 of the 39 crew members off the vessel. Of the 8 missing men, 4 were never found.

The stern of the Tanio (Source: French Navy)

Composition and characteristics
Type Fuel oil N°6 (Bunker C)
Appearance at 20°C Viscous oil
Viscosity 33 cSt at100 °C
340 cSt at 50 °C
15,000 cSt at 20 °C
Pour point 9 °C
Composition paraffinics: 30 %
aromatics: 53 %
resins: 12 %
asphaltenes: 5 %

Name: Tanio

Date: 7 March 1980

Location: France

Accident area: North of Batz island, Finistère

Cause of spill: damage to ship

Quantity transported: 26,000 tonnes

Type of pollutant: heavy fuel oil (n° 6)

Quantity spilled: 6,000 tonnes

Ship type: oil tanker

Date built: 1958

Length: 191.88 m

Width: 24.57 m

Flag: Madagascan

See also


Last update: 16/10/2014

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