Grande America was carrying cargo to North Africa and Brazil

Conro Grande America (IMO 9130937) was carrying cargo loaded in Antwerp and Hamburg and was going to deliver to Casablanca, Dakar, Conakry, the Brazilian ports of Suape, Vitoria, Rio de Janeiro, Santos and Paranagua when she sank on March 12th in the Bay of Biscay.

The vessel was carrying 2,210 vehicles and 365 containers, of which 247 containers were stowed on the weather deck, with the remainder on the lower deck.

About 78% of the units were bound to South America and the rest to West Africa. There were 45 containers classified as carrying hazardous cargo, of which 34 were stowed on the weather deck and the rest inside the vessel.

Grimaldi Group said that already had in place a very stringent policy, beyond the class requirements for this vessel, with more than 100 commodities specifically banned (including explosives, radioactive, corrosive and toxic material).

Grimaldi Group has dispatched AHTV Union Lynx to monitor the fuel spill and to help recover any floating containers.

A Grimaldi-appointed team of experts in marine casualties and pollution prevention was already in Brest in order to monitor the environmental situation and advise on any further measures, working in coordination with the French Authorities, who have agreed that the Grimaldi Group can undertake a submarine survey of the wreck, located at 4,600 metres sea depth, by means of the vessel Pourquoi Pas, which is equipped with a ROV.

On Thursday the French authorities were battling to contain an oil slick. The ship was carrying 2,200 tonnes of heavy fuel when it sank. Footage from the French navy showed thick black smoke pouring from the vessel.

French authorities said a slick measuring 10 km by 1 km wide could reach the coast of southern Brittany by the end of the weekend.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Environment Minister Francois de Rugy both said they were closely monitoring the situation.

1997-built, Italy-flagged, 56,642 gt Grande America is owned and managed by Grimaldi Group of Naples, Italy. It is entered with North of England Club on behalf of Grimaldi Deep Sea SpA.

Hull & machinery is with Norwegian Hull Club (as arranger) and other insurers, among them Siat and Generali.