JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Torrey Canyon. Wreck of the Torrey Canyon oil tanker and the resulting oil slick at right. The Torrey Canyon ran aground on the Seven Stones Reef between Land's End and the Scilly Isles (off the south-east coast of Cornwall) on 19th March 1967. It was carrying 120,000 tons of oil. The military spread detergent on the oil and bombed the wreck to burn off the remaining oil. However, the oil slick went on to affect 150 kilometres of the Cornish coast of Britain. The detergent ended up being more harmful to wildlife than the oil it was meant to disperse. The Torrey Canyon was one of the first supertankers and her wreck was the first of the big oil disasters.
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