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The Pacific Glory Supertanker Aftermath

The Pacific Glory Supertanker's oil is threatening coastlines as it drifts in the sea off the Isle of Wight.

News 1970 4 mins

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TV reporter John Doyle is on the scene after the supertanker Pacific Glory collided with the tanker Allegro off the Isle of Wight on its way up the English Channel to Rotterdam in Holland on 23 October 1970. The Allegro had veered to avoid another vessel and hit the Pacific Glory and made its way to Fawley Southampton where it was arrested. The Pacific Glory drifted towards Ventnor carrying nearly thirty-six thousand barrels of Nigerian crude oil.

Explosions in the engine-room led to a fire and the loss of thirteen crew. Twenty-nine people were rescued and taken ashore at Portsmouth, some had jumped into a burning sea. Three large oil slicks had developed and a dispersal operation by the Royal Navy began. It took days to extinguish the fire. The oil company Shell sent a Dutch salvage company to recuperate the oil. The controversy of ships chartered under flags of convenience was once again brought into question with both tankers flying the Liberian flag. This practice by multinational companies was used so as to reduce operating costs and avoid regulations. The disaster came only three years after the 1967 Torrey Canyon catastrophe.