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On 13 November 2002, the Prestige, a single hulled tanker, was damaged and subsequently towed to open sea. A few days later, on 19 November, it broke in two and sank about 275 km west of Vigo. The incident, in which 64,000 tonnes of fuel oil were spilled, affected nearly 11,000 birds, as well as Eurasian otters, dolphins, marine turtles and a seal.

The Prestige spill is considered one of the largest environmental disasters in Spain’s history. Sea Alarm was invited by local parties to assist in the organisation and optimization of the response, and its involvement was supported by ITOPF, the ship owner’s insurer (P&I Club) and the IOPC Fund. Sea Alarm provided advice and assistance on the following aspects: structure and efficiency of the response organisation; formalization of response operation; response strategy; visibility of overall coordination; exchange of information between parties involved; trouble shooting and problem solving; discussions on follow-up.

For the full report on Sea Alarm’s involvement, please click here.

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