This Tuesday the news was known that one of the largest cargo ships in the world had been crossed in the Suez Canal. At first, many thought that it could be a ‘fake new’, until the images arrived and all doubts were cleared up, the ship was aground and no other ship could cross the Suez Canal .
It is still unknown what the total impact on the economy of this event will be, but it will also have its repercussions at the international security level, because US military naval fleets and aircraft carriers also circulate there. In addition, it is pointed out that the main cause could have been human failure , even more so after observing the strange previous movements that he made before entering the channel.
Desperate attempts to free him with eight tugs have been unsuccessful. The freighter, one of the largest in the world, has been aground since Tuesday by the bow and by the stern on the banks of the Suez Canal.
This is the liberation work in the Suez Canal: tons of sand, four excavators and the help of the USA
However, this maritime accident is not the first to be carried out by a huge ship in international waters. Throughout history there have been various incidents that have had different repercussions: from the ecological disaster that the Prestige caused for the Cantabrian coast to the accident of the Costa Concordia on the Italian shores that ended with 32 people dead.
The Costa Concordia in 2012: the highest tonnage shipwreck in history
One of the most recent maritime accidents happened in 2012 off the Italian coast. A cruise ship equipped with all kinds of luxuries such as jacuzzis, cinemas, gyms or a spa began its route along the Mediterranean coast with 3,206 passengers and 1,023 crew members.
When he was at the height of the island of Giglio, in Tuscany, the captain decided to deviate the course of the marked route and got too close to the island, hitting a reef. After the hit, the ship continued sailing for about another 1000 meters to the northern entrance of the port, where it made a turn with the intention of getting closer. This turn unbalanced the entire weight of the boat and caused it to gradually lean more steeply.
Thus, panic was unleashed and evacuation work began. The ship’s captain, who was sentenced to 16 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter, decided to flee the ship before all the passengers and crew were safe. “There was panic, like in a movie, dishes crashing to the ground, people running, people rolling down the stairs,” said one of the survivors.
Finally, the accident of the cruise ship Costa Concordia, which weighed 114,500 tons, resulted in 32 deaths and 64 injuries. Regarding the removal of the ship, a team of 500 technicians and 30 ships participated and cost 600 million euros in what happened to be the largest tonnage shipwreck in history.
The Prestige and the 2,000 kilometers of Spanish, French and Portuguese coastline affected
The Prestige disaster is the one that the Spaniards lived most closely, who suffered its direct consequences. With a Bahamian flag and a tonnage of 42,820 tons, the cargo ship was carrying a total of 77,000 tons of crude oil and was sailing just 52 kilometers from Cape Finisterre.
It was then that, in November 2002, he was caught in a severe weather storm, which caused a leak on the ship. After trying to move away from the coast, the freighter split in half and sank into the sea at a depth of 3,850 meters . At that time, the tanker was about 250 kilometers from shore.
Little by little, the spilled oil approached the Galician coasts, until in January they reached the shores of the beaches. The ecological disaster was enormous, affecting 2,000 kilometers of the Spanish, French and Portuguese coastline and provoked the citizen organization to clean up the remains under the slogan ‘Never Again’. In addition, they achieved a change in the legislation that prohibits this type of boat from coming so close to the Spanish coast.
The Aegean Sea tanker and the explosion in front of the Tower of Hercules
The Galician coasts already had to face a disaster similar to that of the Prestige in 1992. The Aegean Sea was a 114,000-ton oil tanker that came from the United Kingdom and carried 79,081 tonnes of oil, of which 67,000 were spilled near the coast of A Coruña.
A strong storm of waves, rain and wind caused a failure in the radars and a mismanagement in the boat that caused it to rehearse near the Tower of Hercules. When it was still encased and while maneuvers were being carried out to remove it from the rocks, a strong explosion occurred that set the entire cargo ship on fire , but luckily it did not cause deaths, although it did destroy part of the coastal ecosystem.
The Exxon Valdez disaster: 40.9 million liters spilled
In 1989, an oil tanker nicknamed the Exxon Valdez was heading from Alaska to California, crossing a series of icebergs that forced them to slightly deviate their route. After a series of failures in the decision-making of the crew in command, the ship ended up hitting a reef.
After the strong crash, a hole was opened in the hull of the boat and oil began to pour, reaching a total of 40.9 million liters. The environmental impact that it caused was very serious and had its economic repercussions, since it caused the loss of recreational sports, fishing, reduction in tourism , and a drop in the appreciation of what economists call “existence value”, associated with the natural good.
Oil expanded over more than 2,000 kilometers of coastline and exceptional cleaning tasks were necessary such as vacuum cleaners or pressurized hot water hoses , in what was considered a natural disaster and set precedents in terms of safety for oil transportation.
The Titanic: the first major maritime accident
Perhaps the Titanic is the most famous accident in the world, despite the fact that it occurred in 1912, more than 100 years ago. It was a British ocean liner that sank during its maiden voyage, killing 1,496 of the 2,208 on board.
He traveled from the town of Southampton to New York and had many luxuries inside and transported very rich and influential people of the time. When it was about 600 kilometers off the Canadian coast, the ship collided with an iceberg, causing a hole in its hull. It was sinking for two and a half hours and only 712 people managed to survive the event.