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NEWS: Greek Tanker Athos I Oil Spill in Philadelphia

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posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 10:01 PM
On Nov. 26, the Greek tanker Athos I struck a hidden hazard a few hundred feet before reaching the dock. The impact created a six foot gash in the single hulled vessel which was carrying nearly 14 million gallons of Venezuelan crude oil. The resulting accident spilled as much as 470,000 gallons of thick crude oil into the river spreading along 107 miles of the waterway. The cleanup is expected to take months and cost millions of dollars.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ The Coast Guard on Thursday hauled up the submerged pipe it believes pierced the hull of an oil tanker in the Delaware River, causing an oil spill that has disrupted shipping, killed wildlife and covered more than 100 miles of shoreline with sticky black crude.

The 15-foot-long pipe was about 700 feet offshore from the Citgo Petroleum Corp. refinery in Paulsboro, N.J. With a diameter of between three and four feet, the U-shaped cast iron tube was big enough to tear a six-foot gash in the hull of the Athos I as it was being maneuvered toward the refinery Nov. 26.

As of Thursday, workers had collected 994,360 pounds of oily solids and 14,791 gallons of oil and water mix. Nearly 22 miles of floating boom has been strung to keep the oil from moving into unaffected areas. Rescuers have captured 132 birds, and successfully cleaned 117 of them.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

This event has disrupted the local economy at several levels. The river was closed for several days as sonar scans were conducted to find the cause of the hull breach. This shut down several very busy shipping ports and rail centers.
The stretch of water way involved is dredged on a regular basis by the Army Corp of Engineers to ensure that the proper depth is maintained to facilitate passage of the larger shipping vessels. Citgo refinery who was to receive the oil shipment said that 25 ships with a draft equal to the Athos I had passed this point since January with out incident. How is it that something of this size suddenly shows up. This obstacle is very large and sufficiently rigid enough to do this damage, is it something that the Army Corp would have over looked during its numerous dredges? It is common knowledge that these ships traverse the river with only a few foot of clearance in many places.

It is said that some 4,000 tankers carry 60 percent of the world's oil on the high seas. While much has been done to improve maritime security since Sept. 11, the water ways remain relatively un-policed. Terrorists are well aware that an oil market with little wiggle room offers an ideal target for undermining the world economy. Oil supplies are, in the words of Al Qaeda, "the provision line and the feeding to the artery of the life of the crusader nation."
Is it possible that this huge piece of debris was strategically placed to cause such a ecologically and economical catastrophe?

Related News Links:

[edit on 10-12-2004 by Banshee]

posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 11:56 PM
Adding to Philadephia, Wednesday's Bering Sea shipwreck fuel spill our gluttony for oil has more consquences than just burning up the planet's finite resources.

An hour after the helicopter crash, the Selendang Ayu, a 738-foot-long freighter loaded with grain and 440,000 gallons of its own fuel, broke in two about four-fifths of a mile off Unalaska Island in the Aleutian chain, the Coast Guard said.
If anyone watches the episodes of 'extreme oil' you will see how careless many of the oil mega-corporations are. They are running their equipment till it frays and falls apart rather than spend the money to keep it in good repair. But if we are irresponsible in how we individually squander oil why should we expect better of corporations?

posted on Dec, 11 2004 @ 07:08 AM
I don't think terrorism is involved. The pipe probably fell off of a barge doing work in the area. If it fell off of a barge or ship I'm sure the crews didn't think it would pose a problem to the shipping traffic so they didn't bother reporting it.

posted on Dec, 11 2004 @ 08:20 AM
Officials from Camden Iron & Scrap, the nearest scrap yard, said the pump housing didn't come from there.

John T. Lehman, a marine engineer and naval architect, said the housing could have come from a dredging operation as far back as the 1920s, when dumping in the river was more common.

"Somebody didn't go out there in a bass boat and accidentally lose it," he said. "It may have been from decades ago, when this was not an uncommon thing to do."

The Army Corps of Engineers last dredged the area where the housing was found in 1979. Citgo officials said they last had the area dredged in 1992 by the American Dredging Co., which was bought by Weeks Marine the following year.

Officials at Weeks Marine, of Cranford, N.J., said that the pump housing was not theirs, and that it appeared to date from long before Weeks got into the dredging business about 15 years ago.

"We're pretty confident it's not from any of our vessels," company spokesman George Wittich said. "That's a pretty antiquated piece of equipment."

But Reed said he didn't think the pump housing was that old, judging by the Coast Guard photos he saw. He said the interior of the housing was too clean.

"I would say it hadn't been in the river a whole, whole long time," he said. "This isn't something that's been missed for 15, 20 years."

Probably not terrorism, but the effects are to be felt for many many years.

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