BUSCADOR






21º Year - 5ª Time - 20/11/2017
SOS call from oil tanker leaking 28 miles off Finisterre

At around 15:00 hours coast guards received an SOS 28 miles (50 kilometres) west of Cape Finisterre: the Japanese built oil tanker, bearing the Bahamas flag and operated by Greece had an important leak on one of its sides.

The rescue operation was immediately initiated and two helicopters evacuated 24 of the 27 crew members to Vigo and A Coruña airports. The Captain, First Officer and Chief Engineer remained on the ship, primarily to supervise the rescue operation.

As time went on the situation worsened: the oil tanker, already flanked by a considerable oil spill, had an inclination of between 25 and 40 degrees. Meteorological conditions were bad, with five metre waves and winds of up to 80 kilometres an hour from the west-northwest pushing the boat towards the Muxía coast.

Given the situation, the tugboat Ria de Vigo, already in the area from the onset, received orders to tow the Prestige far from the Galician coast; something that Apostolus Maguras, the captain of the oil tanker opposed, who wanted to bring the boat inshore to save it. The captain of the Prestige and the storm persisted with their position and the towing operation was hindered for hours.

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