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Assessing and Addressing Risks from Potentially-Polluting Shipwrecks: Key Developments since WOW I. Dagmar Schmidt Etkin, PhD Environmental Research Consulting. Wrecks of the World (WOW) II: Evaluating and Addressing Potential Underwater Threats

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Assessing and addressing risks from potentially polluting shipwrecks key developments since wow i

Assessing and Addressing Risks from Potentially-Polluting Shipwrecks:Key Developments since WOW I

Dagmar Schmidt Etkin, PhD

Environmental Research Consulting

Wrecks of the World (WOW) II:

Evaluating and Addressing Potential Underwater Threats

Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS) Linthicum, Maryland

6 – 7 June 2011

Potentially polluting wrecks international issue
Potentially Polluting Wrecks = International Issue

World of Wrecks - Hidden Risks of the Deep

Monde des épaves - risques cachés du profound

Welt der Wracke - versteckte Risiken vom Tiefen

Κόσμος των συντριμμιών - κρυμμένοι κίνδυνοι βαθιού


Wereld van Wrakken - Verborgen Risico's van Diep

Mondo dei naufragi - rischi nascosti del profondo


난파 - 깊은 것의 숨겨지은 위험의 세계

Mundo das destruições - riscos escondidos do profundo

Мир развалин - спрятанных рисков глубокого

Mundo de las ruinas - riesgos ocultados del profundo

העולם של - מוסתר ינוכיס העמוקה של

दुनिया की है - दीप के छुपे हुए जोखिम

Thế giới của Wrecks - Rủi ro trong các sâu

Wraki - Ukryte Zagrożenia z

โลกของ- ซ่อนความเสี่ยงของลึก

Mundo ng - Nakatagong panganib ng

 Romuajoneuvoista - Piilotettu riskejä

Свет олупине - Скривени ризици од Дееп

Världen av vrak - Dolda Risk

Dünya virane - ve Gizli Riskler

Dagmar schmidt etkin phd environmental research consulting

Worldwide, over 8,500 wrecks of large vessels* containing total of 1.5 to 15 million tonnesof oil and hazardous materials (2005 IOSC Study)

ERC Wreck Databases

*tank vessels or other ships of least 400 GRT

Geographic distribution of wrecks
Geographic Distribution of Wrecks

Note: Exxon Valdez = 37,400 tonnes

About 1,360 in US Waters

ERC Wreck Databases

Types of vessels by age
Types of Vessels by Age

ERC Wreck Databases

Types of vessels by age1
Types of Vessels by Age

75% of the wrecks are World War II era – warships or sunk by warships

ERC Wreck Databases

Varying conditions of wrecks
Varying Conditions of Wrecks

  • Leaking chronically (e.g., USS Arizona – 2 gallons per day)

  • Leaking episodically (e.g., SS Jacob Luckenbach “mystery” spills)

  • Potential to release oil in larger amounts after disturbance

  • Reported relatively intact

  • Condition unknown

USS Mississinewa

2005 international oil spill conference
2005 International Oil Spill Conference

  • Too many wrecks = too overwhelming

  • Too many legal issues

  • Too many financial issues

  • No guidance on how to deal with wrecks

  • No systematic approach to assessment

Wrecks of the world conference september 2009
Wrecks of the World ConferenceSeptember 2009

  • Discussions of pro-active strategies

  • Introductions of risk assessment strategies

Growing acceptance for pro active strategy towards shipwrecks
Growing Acceptance for Pro-Active Strategy Towards Shipwrecks

• Reactive Strategy - Deal with continuous leaking or sudden release oiling events and damages as they occur – greater costs for spill response and damages, risk remains


• Pro-active Strategy - Take proactive approach to remove oil from wrecks with greatest risk – highest potential for leakage or spillage and highest damages – lower costs, risk removed

Proactive removal of oil and hazardous materials from risky wrecks will
Proactive removal of oil and hazardous materials from Shipwrecksrisky wrecks will:

  • Avert significant damages to natural and socioeconomic resources

  • Reduce costs for response and monitoring of spills and leakage

Challenges with pro active strategy
Challenges with Pro-Active Strategy Shipwrecks

  • Large number of wrecks

  • Considerable expense for remediation

  • Limited funding available for remediation

  • Financial/legal responsibility often at issue

  • Risk to personnel in removal operations

  • Potential for leakage during removal operations

  • Unnecessary for many wrecks (unlikely to leak or little oil left on board)

Risk assessment approach
Risk Assessment Approach Shipwrecks

Assess shipwrecks with regard to risk

Risk probability x consequences1
Risk Shipwrecks= Probabilityx Consequences

Probability of Leakage

Risk probability x consequences2
Risk Shipwrecks= Probability x Consequences

Consequences (Impact from Leakage)

Risk probability x consequences3
Risk Shipwrecks = Probability x Consequences

Probability of Leakage

Consequences (Impacts from Leakage)

Risk assessment projects
Risk Assessment Projects Shipwrecks

  • Scandinavian (Swedish Maritime Administration et al.)

  • France and Italy DEEPP project (CEDRE)

  • Canada (Transport Canada)

  • South Pacific (UNEP PREP et al.)

  • UK (Maritime and Coastguard Agency)

  • Norway (Kystverket)

  • US “Wreck Oil Removal Project” (NOAA/USCG)

Scandinavian risk assessment
Scandinavian Risk Assessment Shipwrecks

  • Beginning development of database of wrecks

  • Analysis of legal situation of wrecks

  • Case study: SS Skytteren (sank 1942)

Deep project france italy
DEEP Project (France & Italy) Shipwrecks

  • Unique international cooperation

  • Process:

    • Library research

    • Sea bottom exploration

    • ROV investigation

    • Wreck identification (to Database)

    • Risk Analysis

    • Decision

Transport canada
Transport Canada Shipwrecks

  • 1,000s of wrecks charted on Canada east coast

  • Aerial surveillance (mystery spills)

  • Work with CCG, industry, provinces, fishing community to establish contingency plans

  • Case Study: Dredge Shovelmaster – decision to leave in place, monitor

South pacific
South Pacific Shipwrecks

  • Extensive mapping and identification of wrecks (particularly WWII-related)

  • Development of comprehensive database

Uk potentially polluting wreck risk assessment
UK Potentially Polluting Wreck ShipwrecksRisk Assessment

Pollution risk (oil, chemical)

Safety risk (unexploded ordnance)

Other developments
Other Developments Shipwrecks

  • Technological developments and breakthroughs

  • Field experience with removal projects

  • Legal developments

  • Financial considerations