Portcities Southampton
UK * Bristol * Hartlepool * Liverpool * London * Southampton
*
You are here: PortCities Southampton > Wrecks and Accidents > Improving Safety at Sea > Accidents and the lessons learned > Oil on the beaches: Torrey Canyon, 1967
* Text only * About this site * Site Map * Feedback
*
*
*
Explore this site
Start Here
About Us
Partners And Collections
Timeline
Get Interactive!
Help
Galleries
Image galleries
Biographies
Southampton
The Docks
River Itchen
Southampton at war
Flying Boats
Titanic
Finding Out More
Southampton speaks
Street Directories
Historic Buildings Survey
Registers and Records
Lloyd's Register
Official Sources
Other Records
Finding Out More
Wrecks and Accidents
Why accidents happen
Investigations
Improving Safety at Sea
Finding Out More
Wreck Reports
Life of a Port
How a port comes to life
At work in a port
Ports at play
Trade - lifeblood of a port
Finding Out More
On the Line
Company growth and development
Shipping lines
Transatlantic travel
Preparing a liner
Finding Out More
Sea People
Life at sea
Jobs at sea
Travelling by sea
Starting a new life by sea
Women and the sea
Finding Out More
Diversity of Ships
The variety of ships
What drives the ship?
Ships of ancient times
Ships in the age of sail
Ships of the steam age
Ships of today

Accidents and the lessons learned


Oil on the beaches: Torrey Canyon, 1967

On the morning of Saturday 18th March 1967, a 61,000 gross ton tanker was approaching the Scilly Isles on a voyage from Kuwait to Milford Haven, Wales, when the master took a short cut. He wanted to catch that evening`s tide, otherwise his deeply-laden tanker would have to wait another five days to reach her berth [definition]. She never reached her destination: just after 9.00 am the Torrey Canyon piled onto the Seven Stones Reef at 17 knots. Crude petroleum poured out of her broken tanks, beginning one of the biggest environmental disasters a ship had ever caused. Thousands of tons of oil coated the beaches of Devon and Cornwall just before the holiday season, killing thousands of seabirds and marine creatures.

Pollution from sinking tankers continues to be a major concern. New tankers are `double hulled` - built with two skins of metal. The hope is that if the outer skin is pierced, the inner skin will prevent the cargo spilling. It will take many years before the older, single-hulled tankers are phased out, however. There is no guarantee that even a double hull will save a tanker wrecked in a violent storm, involved in a serious collision or - like the Torrey Canyon - driven full speed on to rocks.

*
Search

Advanced Search
*
*
*
Southampton City Council New Opportunities Fund Lloyd's Register London Metropolitan Archives National Maritime Museum World Ship Society  
Legal & Copyright * Partner sites: Bristol * Hartlepool * Liverpool * London * Southampton * Text only * About this site * Feedback