Bulker MV Olivia Breaking-up on Nightingale Island, Tristan da Cunha

The Greek-owned 75,000 tonne bulk carrier, MV Oliva, ran aground  on March 16th at 04.30, at Spinners Point, on the the far north-west promontory of Nightingale Island, a 4 square kilometer island in the Tristan da Cuhna archipelago in the South Atlantic.   The crew of 22 have been taken to safety on Tristan da Cuhna.   As of Friday, it was reported that the MV Oliva was breaking up and that all or part of  part of her 1,500 tonnes of heavy fuel oil was spilling into the water around Nightingale Island.   The MV Olivia was in transit from Santos, Brazil to Singapore with a cargo of soy beans.   A salvage tug is on its way from Cape Town and is expected to arrive at Nightingale on the 21st.

Tristan da Cunha is the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, lying 2,816 kilometres (1,750 mi) from the nearest land, South Africa, and 3,360 kilometres (2,088 mi) from South America.  There is considerable concern about the environmental and economic impact of the grounding.
From The Tristan da Cunha Website:

Tristan Conservation Team of Simon Glass, Wayne Swain and Matthew Green are busy doing what they can to clean up Northern Rockhopper Penguins presently coming ashore smothered in oil on Nightingale Island. Penguins have finished their breeding cycle and most adults have also left the island after their annual moulting ashore. So birds would not be expected to be coming ashore at this time of year when it would be usual only to see adults leaving with their new feathers.

Another concern is the impact that the ship’s cargo of 60,000 tonnes of whole raw soya beans will have on the fragile local marine environment, especially any long-term effect on the economically valuable fishing industry for crawfish, crayfish or Tristan Rock Lobster (Jasus tristani) which is the mainstay of Tristan da Cunha’s economy.

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9 Responses to Bulker MV Olivia Breaking-up on Nightingale Island, Tristan da Cunha

  1. So Mr. Murphy, if you’re crossing the Ocean then of course you need to run aground on the only effing archipelago in it… Hope they make the Greek shipowner pay from the nose…

  2. Rick says:

    In the days before electronics there might have been an excuse but not these days.

  3. Dirk Bal says:

    I don’t know why a Captain decides to allow steering a course so close to the archipelago. It is good seamanship to stay clear at least 12 sea-miles. Does anyone know what the reason was for this sight-seeing course ?

  4. DIRK BAL: That just about sums it up – sightseeing- and rank carelessness. Whatever it is inexcusable. You might like to visit my Blog NAUTICAL LOG for my Post on the subject. Having sailed extensively with both Greek and Filipino seafarers and having rather personal opinions about both, one shall see if a report ever comes from the UK MCA. T. da C. is British though self-administered so they will have jurisdiction.
    Good Watch.

  5. Capt.Jannis says:

    capt he is of coursefully responsibleabt the accident but dont forget to thing how difficult is to hadling crew with low level,everybody working with a ship knows if the IMO like trully following the standards 40% ofth global fleet will stay with out crew….

  6. John Cooper says:

    Regularly updated news on this oiling disaster and its dire effects on penguins from the spilt fuel oil can be found at:




  7. Regarding the Capt. Jannis letter it might be that MS Olivia is one of those “40% global fleet” he writes about. So much for the Greek led IMO!! As to whats going on at Tristan Island Group visit http://www.tristadc.com/latest news/date. There are new photos and update reports of the tug and personnel that are now involved.
    Good Watch.

  8. Pingback: Update: Bulker Olivia Still Leaking Oil, Threatening Bird Life on Nightingale Island : Old Salt Blog – a virtual port of call for all those who love the sea

  9. Per Pettersen says:

    Navigators on MV Olivia simply dont know where they are and at the time of grounding they most likely have been sleeping.Today there is absolutly no excuse for an incident like this…this is the results of the new seamen from cheaper country.