Castillo de Bellver

Starting Date 
Saturday, August 6, 1983
off Table Bay, South Africa
Estimated Spillage 
1,848,000 barrels (77,616,000 gallons) light crude

An explosion caused a fire, and the ship ultimately broke in two. The stern section sank; the bow section was towed away from the coast and sunk with the aid of explosives.

Clean-up Efforts 

Very little was done since winds carried the oil offshore to the Benguela Current. There was some dispersant use.

  • 1,500 gannets were oiled.
  • Some seals surfaced during dispersant spraying, but were not thought to be harmed.
  • “Black rain” of oil droplets fell during the first 24 hours on wheat-growing and sheep-grazing fields, but no long-term damage was recorded.
  • There was negligible damage to fishing grounds and fish stock (this is important reproduction area).