MV Cabrera Oil Spill Response

Location: Andros Island, Greece

Oil Spill Response Alliance Greece Limited (OSRA Greece)

The Project

On 24th December 2016, the MV Cabrera was caught in heavy weather in the Kafireas Strait and ran aground on the north coast of Andros Island, Greece.

The 99.98m long, 5,553 dwt bulk carrier was sailing from Larymna, Greece to Finland with 3,500 tons of ferronickel at the time of grounding.


Scope of Work

NRC Environmental Services (UK) Ltd were contracted to support OSRA Greece in their salvage and oil recovery efforts by providing a Shoreline Response Operations Manager for over 11 weeks on a back to back basis to oversee response operations on nine affected beaches in the area including Halaritis and Lefkivari Beaches, two of the worst affected.

A team and equipment were immediately mobilised from Aberdeen and mainland Greece to Andros Island where they worked and liaised closely with the ship owner-appointed surveyors, ITOPF, local authorities and local oil spill response and waste contractors to ensure the safe and effective clean-up of released hydrocarbons and contaminated debris.

Joint shoreline surveys were conducted by boat and on foot to assess the extent of contamination and to select appropriate response techniques and end-point objectives for the clean-up operations.

A team of 2 x local Response Technicians and 1 x Response Supervisor trained by NRC were required to carry out daily inspections of beaches accessible by road (Megali Peza, Mikri Peza, Selienitis, Zorkos and Lefkidari) and those accessible only by sea (Halaritis, Psatha and Damolitis).

A variety of response equipment was mobilised including tugs, landing craft, ribs, shoreline boom, water pumps, skimmers, back loaders, absorbents, etc.

Response personnel continued patrolling the Megali Peza, Mikri Peza, Selienitis, Lefkidari, Zorkos Beaches to carry out shoreline inspections and recover any tar balls observed. Also patrolling of the Halaritis, Psatha and Damolitis beaches by using the rib weather permitted.


Restrictions / Considerations:

  • Operations were weather dependent;
  • Oil wildlife encountered;
  • Access to polluted areas was very remote and therefore challenging for oil spill responders and logistics;
  • Access to Halaritis Beach by landing craft only; and
  • Continued risk of pollution to beaches from residual quantities of oil during salvage operations.


Key Facts

  • NRC personnel later assisted in the development of antipollution booming plans for use during salvage operations to recover the wreck.