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Built under yard no 438 as a crude tanker (VLCC) by National Steel & Shipbuilding Co (NASSCO), San Diego for the Exxon Shipping Co., Philadelphia.
29 July 1985 keel laid down.
June 1986 launched under the name EXXON VALDEZ.
Tonnage 110,831 gross, 71,330 net, 214,861 dwt., dim. 300.8 x 50.6 x 38.2m., draught 26.8m.
One Sulzer Oil 2SA, 8-cyl engine, 31,650 bhp, speed 16.25 knots, crew 21.
10 December 1986 completed.
Built for the transport of crude oil from Valdez to Panama for subsequent transportation to Gulf and east Coast ports in the USA, as well as crude to West Coast USA ports.
On 23 March 1989, the supertanker EXXON VALDEZ pulled out of Valdez, Alaska, loaded with more than 56 million gallons of crude oil.
Captain Joseph Hazelwood, the master of the vessel had spent the day drinking with crew members.
Bartenders testified that he had consumed at least eight vodka doubles, and Coast Guard tests showed his blood alcohol level stood at 241- more than six times the permissible level under Coast Guard regulations.
Third mate Gregory Cousins was on duty beyond the limits specified by federal fatigue laws.
Hazelwood, Cousins and the rest of the crew faced a night voyage through ice in the Prince William Sound.
Hazelwood intoxication was evident from the alcohol on his breath, his speech (captured on audiotape) and, most of all, his actions as his ship navigated the Sound. While passing through fishing grounds, Hazelwood took the EXXON VALDEZ outside established shipping lanes to avoid ice. He put the vessel on automatic pilot accelerating directly at Bligh Reef.
Hazelwood then left the bridge in violation of federal pilotage regulations. As he went below, he gave vague instructions to the inexperienced and fatigued Cousins.
At four minutes past midnight on 24 March 1989 the supertanker struck Bligh Reef, (about 25 mile from Valdez) spilling 11 million gallons of oil, “the largest oil spill and greatest environmental disaster in American history,” claimed news report.
The grounding punctured eight of the eleven cargo tanks, and within four hours 5.8 million gallons had been lost.
By the time the tanker was refloated on 5 April 260.000 barrels had been lost and 2.600 square miles of the country’s greatest fishing grounds and the surrounding virgin shoreline were sheated in oil.
After the spill and the removal of the oil from the tanker the EXXON VALDEZ sailed to San Diego, under command of a new captain, for repairs by NASSCO.
Captain Hazelwood, who had a record of drunk driving arrests, was charged with criminal mischief, driving a watercraft while intoxicated, reckless endangerment, and negligent discharge of oil.
He was found guilty of the last count and fined $ 51.000 and sentenced to 1.000 hours of community service in lieu of six months in prison.
In 1990 the American Congress passed the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which barred the EXXON VALDEZ and 17 other vessels from Alaskan waters. A provision banning entry by any ship that had spilled more than 1 million gallons after 22 March 1989 was tacked onto the Act.
As a result, Exxon sent the renamed vessel EXXON MEDITERRANEAN, after repair, to carry oil from the Middle East to Europe and the Far East ports.
In 1990, Exxon Shipping Co., President Gus Elmer said “Due to declining Alaskan crude oil, the vessel will enter foreign service, most likely loading crude oil in the Mediterranean or the Middle East. It is consistent with our policy that the vessel be named according to their location.
Exxon officials declined to retrofit the ship with a double hull because it was not feasible from an engineering standpoint, an Exxon spokeswoman said in March 1990.
However a National Steel spokesman said, “It’s feasible to put a double hull. The question is the cost and the time.”
In the mid 1990’s Sea River Maritime (Exxon’s shipping subsidiary) filed a lawsuits to allow the former EXXON VALDEZ to return to Alaskan waters. They stated that the vessel was not financially viable trading in foreign waters.
In 1998, a judge upheld the ban. In a recent Appeal Court case in October 2002 the ban was again upheld.
It has been reported that in 1993 she was renamed in S/R MEDITERRANEAN and that she was mothballed (laid up) and anchored off a foreign port that the owners will not name.
From being repaired in 1990 until its lay-up, the vessel made 190 voyages around the world.
April 2005 renamed in MEDITERRANEAN, owned by Seariver International Inc., Marshall Islands flag and registry.
February 2008 sold to Hong Kong Bloom Shipping Ltd., renamed DONG FANG OCEAN, she was refitted in a ore carrier, managed by Cosco Shanghai Ship Management, Shanghai.
2008 Registered at Panama.
April 2012 sold to Best Oasis Ltd. Mumbai, India, renamed ORIENTAL NICETY, under Sierra Leone flag. She was sold for scrapping.
The same month renamed by owners in ORIENTAL N., Sierra Leone registry. (source http://www.equasis.org
Exxon Valdez denied the right to die in India
09 May 2012 Lloyds List
BULK carrier Oriental Nicety is refusing to bow out of shipping quietly, after the Indian authorities denied it entry to Alang for recycling following a row that only adds to the vessel’s notoriety.
The bulker that was formerly the very large crude carrier Exxon Valdez caused one the worst oil spills in history in Alaska in 1989. Renamed Oriental Nicety, it was scheduled to arrive in Alang today, according to broker reports.
However, vessel-tracking data from Lloyd’s List Intelligence shows that the vessel is at anchor near Malaysia.
According to international media reports, the authorities denied the ship entry until India’s Supreme Court rules on a petition by the Research Foundation for Science urging the authorities to turn the vessel away, alleging that it contains toxic waste.
The court is expected to hear the case on August 13.
Converted into an ore carrier in 2007, the 1986-built vessel, now operated by Coshipman, was reported sold on an as-is basis in Singapore for $460 per ldt, or $15.8m, at the end of March.
If the vessel cannot make it to India, it is likely to turn to China or to end its days on the beaches of Bangladesh.
IMO No. 8414520
Marshall Islands 1998 60c sg?, scott?
Sao Thome et Principe 2010 15000 DBMS sg?, scott?, (the other ship is the ATLANTIC EMPRESS on 35000 Db.)
Source: Watercraft Philately Vol. 49/50 P.Crichton. Ships of the World by Lincoln P.Paine. Marine News.