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Tanker Hits Rock, Spills Million Gallons of Oil Into Atlantic

June 24, 1989|From Associated Press

NEWPORT, R.I. — A Greek oil tanker hit an offshore rock Friday afternoon and leaked about 1 million gallons of heating oil into the Atlantic Ocean, the Coast Guard said.

The 560-foot tanker World Prodigy, carrying 7.6 million gallons of No. 2 heating oil, struck a rock at Brenton Reef, immediately south of Newport.

By mid-evening the slick was five miles across, a Coast Guard spokeswoman said.

The ship, bound for Providence with a local pilot aboard, was pulled off the rock almost immediately and anchored nearby, and the leak was stopped about 9 p.m., she said.

The Navy was replacing booms around the ship with a containment curtain.

The Bush Administration is sending Environmental Protection Agency Administrator William K. Reilly, Interior Secretary Manuel Lujan Jr. and other White House advisers to the scene, a spokesman for Sen. John H. Chafee (R-R.I.) said.

Michael A. Annarummo, deputy director of the state Department of Environmental Management, said Coast Guard divers had reported finding two large holes in the ship.

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