Pollution responders cleanse beached tanker


When Hurricane Sandy deposited John B. Caddell onto a city street, the tanker became the storm’s first vessel pollution response site.

The hull was breached, and fuel spilled into Upper New York Bay. Inside the single-skin vessel, bay-water ingress created an oil-water mix in the engine room.

The cocktail of lube oils, residue and seawater filled the interior with several feet of black liquid. CleanVenture was hired to remove the witch’s brew. A diaphragm pump and three-inch hose sucked the mixture out. To separate the oil and water, the crew used a decanting method, which temporarily houses the soup in a drum or tote. The offending oil exited the ship through the hose into a 21,000-gallon portable metal tank. John B. Caddell’s gooey contents filled an estimated equivalent of two of the tanks, said Joe Causton, CleanVenture supervisor.

Divers secured the breach areas and the Coast Guard deemed John B. Caddell safe from further leaks. The tanker was transported to Donjon Marine’s scrap yard Dec. 11.

CleanVenture chemical technicians Victor Silva, on ladder, and Thomas Sheppard adjust a pump and hose that remove oily water from the engine room.

Audelis Vasquez monitors the frac tank level.

John B. Caddell’s bow pokes up onto Front Street in Staten Island, a few feet short of crashing into a commuter train service facility.

What remains of John B. Caddell’s bridge table after a previous salvage responder, upon learning that it might not get paid, stripped equipment as collateral.

A soupy black mix of lube oil and seawater accumulates in the engine room.



By Professional Mariner Staff