Steve's Marine Disaster Pages

On 12th August 2007, the NEW FLAME collided with the TORM GERTRUD in the Straits of Gibraltar (only 8 miles across). The NEW FLAME quickly started to sink while the TORM GERTUD was able to proceed for repairs. This was only the start of a major international headache for the Gibraltarian authorities. The Spanish authorities quickly became annoyed with the alleged lack of action by the Gibraltarian authorites to contain pollution and fuel oil began to appear on the beaches of southern Spain. Spain's relations with the British colony of Gibraltar soon became strained and official complaints were lodged with the European Union against both Gibraltar and the United Kingdom by the Spanish government, who have long since requested the return of Gibraltar to Spain. Shipping accidents, expecially those involving pollution, can sometimes awaken old enmities and be used as an excuse to further wider political aims.


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