Torrey Canyon
Overview
 

The Torrey Canyon was a supertanker capable of carrying a cargo of 120,000 tons of crude oil, which was shipwreck
Shipwreck
A shipwreck is what remains of a ship that has wrecked, either sunk or beached. Whatever the cause, a sunken ship or a wrecked ship is a physical example of the event: this explains why the two concepts are often overlapping in English....

ed off the western coast of Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 in March 1967 causing an environmental disaster
Environmental disaster
An environmental disaster is a disaster to the natural environment due to human activity. It should not be confused with the separate concept of a natural disaster.-History:...

. At that time, the tanker was the largest vessel ever to be wrecked.
When laid down in the United States in 1959, it had a capacity of 60,000 tons but the ship was enlarged in Japan to 120,000 tons capacity.
Encyclopedia

The Torrey Canyon was a supertanker capable of carrying a cargo of 120,000 tons of crude oil, which was shipwreck
Shipwreck
A shipwreck is what remains of a ship that has wrecked, either sunk or beached. Whatever the cause, a sunken ship or a wrecked ship is a physical example of the event: this explains why the two concepts are often overlapping in English....

ed off the western coast of Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 in March 1967 causing an environmental disaster
Environmental disaster
An environmental disaster is a disaster to the natural environment due to human activity. It should not be confused with the separate concept of a natural disaster.-History:...

. At that time, the tanker was the largest vessel ever to be wrecked.

Design and history

When laid down in the United States in 1959, it had a capacity of 60,000 tons but the ship was enlarged in Japan to 120,000 tons capacity. At the time of the accident it was registered in Liberia and owned by Barracuda Tanker Corporation, a subsidiary of Union Oil Company of California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 but chartered to British Petroleum
BP
BP p.l.c. is a global oil and gas company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the third-largest energy company and fourth-largest company in the world measured by revenues and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors"...

. It was 974.4 feet (297 m) long, 125.4 feet (38.2 m) beam
Beam (nautical)
The beam of a ship is its width at the widest point. Generally speaking, the wider the beam of a ship , the more initial stability it has, at expense of reserve stability in the event of a capsize, where more energy is required to right the vessel from its inverted position...

 and 68.7 feet (20.9 m) draught
Draft (hull)
The draft of a ship's hull is the vertical distance between the waterline and the bottom of the hull , with the thickness of the hull included; in the case of not being included the draft outline would be obtained...

.

The ship left the Kuwait National Petroleum Company refinery at Mina al-Ahmadi
Al Ahmadi, Kuwait
Al Ahmadi is a suburb of Kuwait City, located in Al Ahmadi Governorate....

 on its final voyage on 19 February 1967 with full cargo of crude oil, reaching the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...

 by 14 March. From there the planned route was to Milford Haven
Milford Haven (harbour)
Milford Haven Waterway is a natural harbour in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. The Haven is a ria or drowned valley flooded at the end of the last Ice Age. formed by the Pembroke River and the Daugleddau estuary, and winds west to the sea...

.

Accident and oil spill

On 18 March 1967, owing to a navigational error, the Torrey Canyon struck Pollard's Rock on Seven Stones reef
Seven Stones reef
Seven Stones reef is a rocky reef at 50° 03' North, 6° 04' West to the west of Land's End and the north east of the Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, UK.The reef is a navigational hazard for shipping which has caused many shipwrecks including the Torrey Canyon...

 between the Cornish
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

 mainland and the Scilly Isles. An inquiry in Liberia
Liberia
Liberia , officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Sierra Leone on the west, Guinea on the north and Côte d'Ivoire on the east. Liberia's coastline is composed of mostly mangrove forests while the more sparsely populated inland consists of forests that open...

, where the ship was registered, found Shipmaster
Captain (nautical)
A sea captain is a licensed mariner in ultimate command of the vessel. The captain is responsible for its safe and efficient operation, including cargo operations, navigation, crew management and ensuring that the vessel complies with local and international laws, as well as company and flag...

Pastrengo Rugiati was to blame, because he took a shortcut to save time in getting to Milford Haven.
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