A black tide of oil swept ashore in north-western France on Friday (17 March) from a Liberian tanker which went aground the previous night.
A black tide of oil swept ashore in north-western France on Friday (17 March) from a Liberian tanker which went aground the previous night. The 109,000-ton Amco-Gadiz broke in two after running onto the rocks off the Brittany coast.
SYNOPSIS: The super tanker was stuck with almost a quarter of a million tons of crude oil on board.
The air in Brittany port of Portsall was filled with fumes as the tanker lay about one nautical mile offshore. The mile (kilometre)-wide oil slick stretched as far as the eye could see in both directions, and the pungent reek of fumes drifted miles inland.
All 44 crew members, including a woman, were rescued by a helicopter. A fleet of ships were working with detergent-spraying equipment to break up the oil slick. The vessel, some 200 metres (600 feet) long, ran on to the rocks in heavy seas after its rudder broke down. Maritime officials said two attempts by a West German tug to get a tow line on board failed. A demonstration was being planned by angry fishermen, who were worried that the oil spillage would ruin their livelihood.