-Oil slick found a kilometre away from the supertanker engulfed by intermittent fires since an explosion on Sep.3.

-The 20-year old ‘New Diamond’ tanker with 2 million barrels of oil appears to spill oil from the engine room out to the sea.

-The oil slick raises concerns about the potential of further leakage from the cargo holds.

-If the 2 million barrels of oil emptied completely into the sea, it would rank as one of the worst spills on record.

Reuters brings to light the major oil spills that has occurred across the world and affected the marine life to a large extent. Oil spills frequently kill marine mammals such as dolphins, whales, seals, and sea otters.

Oil spills involving tankers

1978 – The Amoco Cadiz oil tanker ran aground off the coast of Brittany, France. Its steering failed in a severe storm, resulting in the spilling of 1.8 million barrels of oil.

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

1983 – The Castillo de Bellver sank off the coast of Cape Town following an explosion with roughly 250,000 tonnes of crude oil.

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 oil tanker bound for Long Beach, California, hit Prince William Sound in Alaska, dumping more than 250,000 barrels of crude oil into the sea killing animals and plants throughout Prince William Sound.

This accident is one of the worst human-caused environmental disasters. It led to new rules requiring double-hulled ships in the region.

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

1996 – The Sea Empress oil spill at the entrance to the Milford Haven Waterway, Britain took place with 70,000 tonnes of oil.

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

2011 – Container ship Rena with 47,230-tonne leaks oil into the coastal waters in Tauranga, New Zealand.

2018 – The 136,000 tonnes of Iranian condensate laden suezmax Sanchi tanker collided with a cargo ship off Shanghai, caught fire and burned for a week.

2020 – The Wakashio, a Japanese bulk carrier, struck a coral reef off Mauritius’ coast in the Indian Ocean in July, spilling thousands of tonnes of crude oil into the sea and choking marine life in a pristine lagoon.

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

Source: Reuters