Prestige leaking

A Spanish scientific team set up to investigate the state of the hull of the Prestige, a Liberian ship which sank in the Atlantic Ocean off the Spanish coast with thousands of tonnes of toxic fuel oil on board after breaking in two, has concluded that the vessel is leaking 80 tonnes of fuel oil per day into the sea.

The oil tanker lies 3.5 kilometres deep some 200 kilometres from the Spanish coast. The coastlines of Galicia in northern Spain and the Atlantic coast of central France have been devastated by the oil slick, which has destroyed fishing communities affecting the jobs of thousands.

The accident provoked the European Union into banning single-hull vessels such as the Prestige, opting instead to allow only double-hull tankers to circulate in the territorial waters of the EU member states.