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Kurdistan oil spill

On March 15, 1979, the British Tanker Kurdistan, owned by the Nile Steamship Co. Ltd. of Newcastle, England, was bound from Point Tupper, NS, to Quebec City loaded with 29,662 tons of "Bunker C" fuel oil. At 2:20pm, when situated 50 nautical miles northeast of Sydney, Cape Breton, the tanker, lashed by gale force wind, in ice-infested water, developed vertical gashes below the waterline in the number 3 wing tanks. These tanks, which had a total capacity of 10,000 tons, soon began to leak oil.Surveyors onboard the Coast Guard vessel Sir William Alexander, which was dispatched to assess the Kurdistan's damage, advised the tanker to slowly proceed to Sydney, the nearest port of refuge. However, a short time later the Kurdistan split in two, spilling 7000 tons of oil from the number 3 tanks into the turbulent water. Surprisingly, the two sections of the vessel remained intact, and neither leaked any oil. In a daring rescue, all of the 41 crew members were removed from the stern section by the Sir William Alexander.The bow section, floating at a near vertical angle, was impossible to salvage and was with its cargo in over 2,000 fathoms(12000 ft) of water south of Sable Island at the position 4155.02'N, 6058.00'W on April 1, 1979.The stern section, including its cargo, was towed to the Port Hawkesbury Harbor. Eventually 15,300 tonnes of oil was heated and pumped from the stern section into a chartered Gulf Canada tanker at Mulgrave, NS.The first reports of shoreline oiling came two weeks after the breakup. The east coast of CapeBreton Island, portions of the eastern mainland of Nova Scotia as far south as Lunenburg County,and the south coast of Newfoundland were oiled during the next two and a half months.An estimated 880 km of Nova Scotia shoreline were manually cleaned over the summer months.Readily accessible areas along the south coast of Newfoundland from north of Port-Aux-Basques to Portugal Cove were also cleaned.By mid-September, 19...

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