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The Atlantic Empress
was a Greek
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....
An oil tanker, also known as a petroleum tanker, is a merchant ship designed for the bulk transport of oil. There are two basic types of oil tankers: the crude tanker and the product tanker. Crude tankers move large quantities of unrefined crude oil from its point of extraction to refineries...
that was involved in two large oil spills. The spills together are the fifth largest oil spill on recordhttp://www.coltoncompany.com/shipping/statistics/spillstanker.htm
and the largest ship-based spillhttp://library.thinkquest.org/C004218/OilLoc.htm
On 19 July 1979, during a tropical rainstorm, the ship collided with the Aegean Captain
, off Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles...
, spilling 287,000 metric tonnes of oil consigned to Mobil
Mobil, previously known as the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company, was a major American oil company which merged with Exxon in 1999 to form ExxonMobil. Today Mobil continues as a major brand name within the combined company, as well as still being a gas station sometimes paired with their own store or On...
. The damage incurred from the collision was never completely remedied, and while being towed on 2 August, the Atlantic Empress
continued to spill an additional 41 million gallons (all together being 276,000 tonnes of crude oil) off Barbados
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is in length and as much as in width, amounting to . It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about east of the islands of Saint...
. The Aegean Captain
also spilled a large quantity of oil from her No. 1 tank. The Atlantic Empress
sank on 3 August in deep water and her remaining cargo solidified. The spill from the two ships never came ashore.
By comparison, the infamous Exxon Valdez
Oriental Nicety, formerly Exxon Valdez, Exxon Mediterranean, SeaRiver Mediterranean, S/R Mediterranean, Mediterranean, and Dong Fang Ocean is an oil tanker that gained notoriety after running aground in Prince William Sound spilling hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil in Alaska...
spill ten years later only saw 37,000 metric tonnes of oil released.