FACTBOX-Major oil spills with ships

LONDON, Sept 4- Sri Lanka on Friday began towing a fully loaded supertanker that had caught fire off its east coast after it began drifting towards land. 1988- The fully loaded tanker Odyssey operated by Polembros Shipping exploded and sank in the North Atlantic 700 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, spilling 1 million barrels of oil. 1989- The Exxon Valdez, an…

LONDON, Sept 4 (Reuters) – Sri Lanka on Friday began towing

a fully loaded supertanker that had caught fire off its east

coast after it began drifting towards land.

While there were no signs of an oil leak from the vessel,the risk still remains.

Here are some major oil spills involving ships, especiallytankers.

1978 – The Amoco Cadiz oil tanker ran aground off the coastof Brittany, France, after its steering failed in a severestorm, resulting in the spilling of 1.8 million barrels of oil.

1979 – The Atlantic Empress and the Aegean Captain, twofully loaded oil tankers, collided 10 miles (16.1 kms)off thecoast of Tobago in a tropical rainstorm, spilling more than 2.1million barrels of oil into the Caribbean.

1983 – The Castillo de Bellver exploded and sank off thecoast of Cape Town carrying roughly 250,000 tonnes of crude oil.

1988 – The fully loaded tanker Odyssey operated by PolembrosShipping exploded and sank in the North Atlantic 700 miles offthe coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, spilling 1 million barrels ofoil.

1989 – The Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker bound for Long Beach,California, hit Prince William Sound in Alaska, dumping morethan 250,000 barrels of crude oil into the sea killing animalsand plants throughout Prince William Sound.

The accident, considered one of the worst human-causedenvironmental disasters, led to new rules requiringdouble-hulled ships in the region.

1991 – The oil tanker ABT Summer exploded about 900 milesoff the coast of Angola, spilling its entire cargo of 1.9million barrels at sea.

1996 – The Sea Empress went down on the rocks off MilfordHaven on Britain’s west coast in 1996, in one of the country’sworst environmental disasters that saw over 70,000 tonnes of oilspilled.

1999 – The tanker Erika sank during a storm in December,leaking thousands of tonnes of oil into the Bay of Biscay offthe coast of France and causing a major environmental disaster.

2011/2012 – In New Zealand’s worst environmental disaster indecades, hundreds of tonnes of oil leaked into the coastalwaters and on to beaches off Tauranga on the east coast of NewZealand’s North Island from the stricken 47,230-tonneLiberian-flagged container ship Rena.

2018 – The suezmax Sanchi tanker carrying 136,000 tonnes ofIranian condensate collided with a cargo ship off Shanghai,caught fire and burned for a week. All 32 crew onboard werekilled. Japan’s Coast Guard said at the time that oil whichwashed up on the shores of its southern islands was highlylikely to have come from Sanchi.

2020 – The Wakashio, a Japanese bulk carrier, struck a coralreef off Mauritius’ coast in the Indian Ocean in July, spillingthousands of tonnes of crude oil into the sea and choking marinelife in a pristine lagoon.

2020 – The New Diamond supertanker carrying about 2 millionbarrels of oil caught fire off the coast of Sri Lanka inSeptember with one of the 23 crew members presumed dead.

SOURCE: Reuters and industry databases.

(Compiled by Jonathan Saul, editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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