Flashback history: Prestige sinking


The Prestige was just another anonymous ship decaying on the high seas until one final storm found it in the world’s headlines. The Liberian single hull tanker flying the flag of the Bahamas ran into trouble on November 13, 2002, off northwestern Spain.

On the orders of the government, it was towed around for six days, laden with fuel, to try to distance it from the Galician coast.

On 19 November 2002, the single-hull Aframax tanker PRESTIGE broke in two and sank in waters of the North Atlantic off the northwest coast of Spain.

In 2006, new leaks from the sunken wreck were detected, and further costly improvisation to contain them was required. It is still not certain how much oil remains in the broken ship, four kilometres deep.

On October 2012, the Prestige oil spill trial started in Spain in which on November 2013, the court concluded ”it was impossible to establish criminal responsibility and Captain, Chief Engineer and the former head of Spain’s Merchant Navy were found not guilty of crimes against the environment.”

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