Prestige | Coast of Spain 20 million gallons | 2002

Spain’s Worst Environmental Disaster Covered Up By Conservative PoliticiansPrestige oil spill

The ship continued to leak for years
The Prestige was a Bahamian owned, Greek operated oil tanker*, sank about 75 miles off Galicia on Spain’s northwestern coast on November 19, 2002. Over the course of the next few years, the tanker leaked over 20 million gallons of oil into the ocean, due in large part to lies and inaction on the part of the Spanish government. A year after the wreck, some 8 millions were still drifting along the coast and something like 13 million gallons remained on the wreck.Some 300,000 sea birds, mainly common guillemots, Atlantic puffins and razorbills, are estimated to have died from the oil spill. Damage to fishing and tourism, and the coastal environment continued today with an estimated coast of $5 billion.

The officers of the ship did not go to trial until ten years later.

For a global perspective on oil and gas spills, explosions and other oily disasters, visit the CatMap PetroChemical Screw Ups Map


*Maritime law allows all kinds of bogus registration in order to avoid safety, environmental and financial liability. The Prestige was built in Japan, flying the Bahamas flag, under Liberian ownership but under the control of a Greek shipping company. It was insured in Great Britain and had American certification.

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