July 2003 saw the sort of tanker spill that we really could have done without !
On 27th July 2003, a Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) chartered (Maltese flagged) oil tanker, TASMAN SPIRIT carrying 67,500 tons light crude oil for a Pakistani refinery, grounded at 1.5 nautical mile from shore while cruising in the curved entry channel of Karachi Port Trust (KPT) during heavy weather. The ship was 24 years old and failed to overcome the tidal forces, causing it to deviate from its intended course, and run aground. Unsuccessful attempts were made to pull the grounded ship free, but during the process, oil started to leak out, then poured - in a highly sensitive ecological area, polluting about 10 km of coastline.
OK, the vessel may have made a mistake, but to hold the crew in prison for months afterwards and to demand $1bn compensation, the Pakistani government has (apparently) forgotten the compensation limits set under the CLC and Fund Conventions and succeeded in frightening off any potential salvors for fear that if they fail, they too, could end up in a Karachi jail. .....Not the best way to attract international rescue assistance, now is it chaps !
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