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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Tanker incidents down in first half of 2008

It is encouraging to see that the strong upward trend in the number of incidents since 2006 now seems to have eased. We have recorded 140 incidents during the first half of 2008 compared to 162 during the same period in 2007. If this trend continuous during the second part of 2008, we will se a 14% reduction in the number of incidents.


Unfortunately the number of fatalities is rather high. Fifteen seafarers died and one is still missing after the small tanker Jin Yuan You 9 collided with a bulk carrier at the estuary of the Yangtze river. Fourteen seafarers were feared dead after the tanker Duc Tri capsized and spilled oil off the coast of Vietnam. This was also a tanker that was not recorded in the LRFairplay database, which means that it is a ship in local trade. Three of the crew were missing and one was found dead after a collision occurred between the general cargo vessel Gold Leader and the 2,948 GT 1992-built LPG tanker Ocean Phoenix. In addition, we have reports of one casualty in connection with a collision.



 There have also only been minor pollution incidents in the first half of 2008, including one of 450 tonnes of fuel which escaped into the Loire from the Total refinery in Donges from a leaking pipe when the product tanker Ocean was refuelling.


31% of the incidents have been collisions and contacts and 29% hull and machinery (H&M) incidents. The latter include a wide range of types of incidents. The biggest part (61% of the H&M incidents) continues, as in previous years, to be engine-related.


The size group 10-29,999 dwt experiences the most incidents, possibly because the smaller tankers undergo many port calls. Tankers below 10,000 dwt experience the least according to the figures, which may be because they are in local trades where the reporting is not so good. We only have reports of 15 incidents involving tankers larger than 100,000 dwt for the period. 



With regard to the age of the ship, the results for tankers built in the 1980s, 1990s and during this decade are almost equal, whereas the oldest ships apparently have the lowest frequency rate.



No of incidents


No tankers**







Built 1970s*





Built 1980s





Built 1990s





Built 2000s










*and older

**All types of tankers of all sizes from the LRFairplay database

** No incidents/ No ships


The chemical/oil tankers have by far the highest incident rates (0.0195) and crude oil tankers the lowest (0.0059), which could mainly be due to size and trade pattern. However, it is also interesting to see that product tankers come out better than chemical tankers and chemical/oil tankers, which could mean that they to some extent have different charters and that the quality requirements are higher in the petroleum trades.


We acknowledge that the information we have is too limited to draw any firm conclusions and our report must therefore only be seen as an indication.


INTERTANKO has offered to set up an internal database for tanker incidents to complement the information we receive, but regrettably only very limited interest in this has been shown by members.


Contact: Erik Ranheim