The chemical tanker Bow Jubail collided with a jetty while making its way to its berth in the Port of Rotterdam. The hull breached on impact spilling approximately 217 tons of heavy fuel oil. Approximately 180 tons were recovered, however the rest of the oil spread from Rotterdam Harbour via the Nieuwe Waterweg to the North Sea.
Although more than 1000 oiled swans were counted, nearly half of them retained the ability to fly and left the response area before rescue and care could be attempted.
The Dutch oiled wildlife response network, SON-Respons, initiated the wildlife response, setting up a temporary response facility near the spill site, with assistance from Sea Alarm.
As the number of oiled birds increased, other EUropean Oiled Wildlife Assistance (EUROWA) module responders were activated. Additional assistance was provided by Global Oiled Wildlife Response System (GOWRS) responders.