Torrey Canyon

From Academic Kids

The Torrey Canyon was the first of the big supertankers, capable of carrying a cargo of 120,000 tons of crude oil and which was wrecked just off the Southern English coast in 1967 causing an environmental disaster.

She was built in the United States in 1959 and originally had a capacity of 60,000 tons but she was enlarged in Japan to 120,000 capacity. At the time of the accident she was owned by Barracuda Tanker Corporation, a subsidary of Union Oil Company of California but chartered to British Petroleum. She was 974 feet 5 inches long, 125 feet 5 inches beam and 68 feet 8 inches draught.

She left Mena al-Ahmadi in Kuwait on her final voyage on 19 February 1967 with full cargo of crude oil, and reached the Canary Islands on 14 March. From there she was routed to Milford Haven.

On March 18, 1967, owing to a navigational error, the Torrey Canyon struck Pollard's Rock in the Seven Stones reef between the Scilly Isles and Land's End, England, causing major environmental damage on the English and French coasts.

This was the first major oil spill and no plans had been prepared beforehand to deal with it. Unsuccessful attempts were made to refloat the ship, and one of the Dutch salvage team was killed.

In an effort to sink the wreck and burn off the slick and reduce the oil spilling from it, the Fleet Air Arm tried bombing it. Although declared a success, the navy came in for some criticism as around a quarter of the 42 bombs dropped on the stationary target failed to hit it. The bombing was followed by Royal Air Force and Fleet Air Arm aircraft dropping petrol and napalm to try to burn the oil.

Around 120 miles of English coast and 50 miles of French was contaminated and around 15,000 sea birds killed along with huge numbers of marine organisms before the 270 square mile slick dispersed. Further damage was caused by the heavy use of detergents to break up the slick. Over 10,000 tons of detergents, were sprayed on the floating oil to emulsify and disperse it by 42 vessels. However as these substances were extremely toxic to many marine organisms they caused further damage.

The disaster led to many changes in international regulations, for example the Civil Liability Convention (CLC) of 1969 which imposed strict liability on shipowners rather than their liable only through negligence, and the 1973 International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships.

References

  • In the wake of the Torrey Canyon, R. Petrow, 1968 (New York: David Mackay Co, Inc.)

External links

Navigation

Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Art)
    • Architecture (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Architecture)
    • Cultures (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Cultures)
    • Music (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Music)
    • Musical Instruments (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/List_of_musical_instruments)
  • Biographies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Biographies)
  • Clipart (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Clipart)
  • Geography (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Geography)
    • Countries of the World (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Countries)
    • Maps (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Maps)
    • Flags (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Flags)
    • Continents (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Continents)
  • History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History)
    • Ancient Civilizations (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Ancient_Civilizations)
    • Industrial Revolution (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Industrial_Revolution)
    • Middle Ages (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Middle_Ages)
    • Prehistory (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Prehistory)
    • Renaissance (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Renaissance)
    • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
    • United States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/United_States)
    • Wars (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Wars)
    • World History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History_of_the_world)
  • Human Body (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Human_Body)
  • Mathematics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Mathematics)
  • Reference (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Reference)
  • Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Science)
    • Animals (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Animals)
    • Aviation (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Aviation)
    • Dinosaurs (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Dinosaurs)
    • Earth (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Earth)
    • Inventions (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Inventions)
    • Physical Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Physical_Science)
    • Plants (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Plants)
    • Scientists (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Scientists)
  • Social Studies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Social_Studies)
    • Anthropology (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Anthropology)
    • Economics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Economics)
    • Government (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Government)
    • Religion (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Religion)
    • Holidays (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Holidays)
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Solar_System)
    • Planets (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Planets)
  • Sports (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Sports)
  • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
  • Weather (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Weather)
  • US States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/US_States)

Information

  • Home Page (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php)
  • Contact Us (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Contactus)

  • Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
Toolbox
Personal tools