Grande America

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Grande America oil spill
LocationBay of Biscay, France
Coordinates46°04′08″N 5°47′04″W / 46.068889°N 5.784444°W / 46.068889; -5.784444Coordinates: 46°04′08″N 5°47′04″W / 46.068889°N 5.784444°W / 46.068889; -5.784444
Date12 March 2019; 6 days ago (2019-03-12)
CauseFoundering of the Grande America cargo ship
OperatorGrimaldi Lines
Spill characteristics
Volumeca. 2,200 tonnes (4,900,000 lb) marine fuel (metric tonnes)
Areaca. 10 km (6.2 mi) × 1 km (0.62 mi)
Grande America in 2016 near Casablanca

Grande America was a roll-on/roll-off cargo ship built by Fincantieri in 1997, owned and operated by Grimaldi Lines, a subsidiary of Grimaldi Group.


port quarter view

On 10 March 2019, Grande America caught fire while traveling the Atlantic Ocean between France and Spain on its route from Hamburg (Germany) to Casablanca (Morocco), and sank in the Bay of Biscay on 12 March.[1][2] The 27 people on board were rescued by HMS Argyll after they had abandoned the ship and boarded a lifeboat on 11 March.[3] An oil spill of about 10 km (6.2 mi) length and 1 km (0.62 mi) width is moving towards the French coast line, threatening the areas around La Rochelle, Biarritz and Vendée.[4] The ship was carrying 365 containers of which 45 contained material deemed to be hazardous including 10 tonnes of hydrochloric acid and 70 tonnes of sulfuric acid.[5]

The ship also contained dozens of vehicles that were to be delivered to Brazilian importers, including 37 Porsche vehicles. Four of these were Porsche's last units of the 911 GT2 RS, which went out of production in February 2019. The sinking led to Porsche reactivating the production line for the Porsche 911 GT2 RS, so that these four last units were to be delivered to their owners in Brazil.

The ship also contained dozens of Audi cars, including RS4 and RS5 models.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Fire-Stricken Grande America Sinks off France". Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Grimaldi confirm Grande America fire started in container cargo". Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Royal Navy rescues container ship crew after it goes up in flames in Bay of Biscay (The Independent)". Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Nach Schiffsuntergang droht Frankreichs Küste eine Ölpest". (in German). Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Grande America: France braces for oil spill damage after ship blaze". Retrieved 15 March 2019.

External links[edit]