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Oil tanker Torrey Canyon was responsible for the big oil pollution disaster in Britain in 1967. On March 18, the 325-m (975-foot) tanker ran aground on the Seven Stones Reef between the Scilly Islands and Land's End.

The Torrey Canyon, laden with 117,000 tons of Kuwaiti oil, was bound for Milford Haven when it struck the reef. Within a week some 3,000 tons of oil had escaped into the water, producing a slick covering an area of 25 to 25 kilometers (15 to 15 miles). Thousands of liters of detergent were dumped. But when the tanker broke her back during a salvage attempt a few days later, another 30,000 tons of oil were released.

Emergency measures were taken on March 28 and 29 when RAF bombers dropped aviation fuel, high-explosive bombs, rockets and napalm (!) on the tanker to sink it and burn off the remaining oil. The six hours' continuous bombardment was a success, but by then more than 150 kilometers (100 miles) of Cornish beaches had been polluted and irreparable damage had been done to wildlife.

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