The Sanchi oil tanker collision occurred on 6 January 2018 when the Panamanian-flagged, Iranian-owned tanker Sanchi, with a full natural-gas condensate cargo of 136,000 tonnes (960,000 barrels), sailing from Iran to South Korea, collided with the Hong Kong-flagged cargo ship CF Crystal 160 nautical miles (300 km) off Shanghai, China. Sanchi caught fire shortly after the collision; after burning and drifting for over a week, it sank on 14 January.
None of Sanchi‘s 32 crew members survived.
The crew of CF Crystal was rescued and the ship made port in China. The financial damage of the sinking of Sanchi, based on NIOC estimates, is around USD 110 million: USD 60 million for the cargo and US$50 million for the vessel itself.
According to a report by Reuters, because of the incident, a slick 13 by 11 kilometres (7.0 by 5.9 nmi) in size was formed on the sea surface, which is being pushed toward Japan by wind, and efforts to contain it were begun by ships surrounding the spill. Condensate is a highly volatile, highly toxic material that is greatly harmful to the environment. In addition to the slick on the water’s surface, the sinking of the ship means that as the remaining condensate cargo and bunker oil – a heavier form of fuel oil – threaten the depths of the sea from the wreckage. An estimated 2,000 tonnes (2,200 short tons) of bunker oil is thought to have been in Sanchi’s fuel storage tanks!