The Torrey Canyon, a BP chartered 300-meter-long supertanker, ran aground onto Pollard's Rock (in a well-known set of reefs), near Lands End and the Isles of Scilly (an archipelago off the western coast of Cornwall, England), which is a tourist and fishing area. The wreck was attributed to Master's negligence due to taking a short cut and leaving the ship's cook on watch. An eight-mile slick formed by nightfall and reached over 20 miles long the following day. Over the course of several days, all of the ship's crude oil cargo seeped into the Atlantic Ocean.
Various Oil Spills and Blowouts
For photos of various oil spills, including some that are not mentioned on this site, go to the Incidents Gallery of the NOAA website at http://photos.orr.noaa.gov/gallery_4/incidents.htm.
The oil spills and blowouts listed here are just a sampling of the numerous incidents; more are being added regularly.
This Spanish oil supertanker (276.54 m long and 39.07 m wide) struck rocks (that possibly were not listed on the charts) during Spring low tide while approaching the oil terminal at La Coruna, Spain. It was subsequently grounded while being assisted out of the harbor, and an explosion two hours later (killing the captain) was followed by 16-hour fire. There was a second explosion and fire and limited leakage from a crack in the tank of the stern section of the ship.