A valve failure during the hot tapping process on the RFA Darkdale wreck has today caused a small release of oil into James’ Bay, estimated at 100 litres. The oil released is on the surface and is currently all flowing offshore.

Andy Liddell of MOD’s Salvage & Marine Operations division said:

“A valve that was being installed on the Darkdale wreck has failed to seal in the way it is designed to – which has caused oil to leak around the base of the valve.  Immediate action was taken to minimise the leak, but we estimate that about 100 litres of oil was released. 

“Divers are now installing a second valve onto the tank, adjacent to the failed one.  As soon as this is installed, we will be pumping the contents of this tank into the Pacific Dolphin and Pacific Supporter as a contingency measure.

“The leaked oil is being taken out to sea by the current but we will continue to monitor the situation, in case we need to deploy our boom.”


27 July 2015


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