The captain of the sunken ship Admits he saw rust in the storage tanks

By Accidents

The captain of the sunken a decade ago off the coast of Galicia, Prestige oil tanker, Apostolos Mangouras, and what was the biggest environmental pollution ever in Spain, told a court on Tuesday that he had seen some “rust” in the storage tanks of the tanker vessel but “no breakage” when he assumed command of the ship in September 2002.
In the renewal of the court case on the accident, when the captain was asked by the prosecutor Álvaro García Ortiz why he had signed a report on 30th of October, 2002 where stated that there weren't any defects in the tanks, the 77-year-old Mangouras, who spent 83 days in the prison after the pollution, he said he wasn't “qualified” to determine the degree of corrosion.
He also stated he didn't take part in any of the inspections of the ship. “They did not have anything to do with me,” he added. Mangouras also told he was unaware that the oil tanker had been barred from entering more than a dozen ports in the United States, Cuba, Lebanon, Finland and Denmark. “During my work on the ship we never visited those countries,” the Greek official stated.
Mangouras confirmed he hadn't read the log of the previous captain, that the prosecutor told had warned about the existence of defects in the vessel.
Mangouras’ cross-examination had to be stopped for ten minutes when he broke down as he reminded describing to his family how the catastrophe had happened. On resuming his testimony, he refused that he had failed to collaborate with the Spanish authorities after submitting out an emergency message saying the oil tanker was shipping water. “They treated me like a criminal,” the captain also added.
The emergency warning was sent on 13th of November, 2002 when the Prestige oil tanker, with 27 crew members on board and carrying 77,000 of fuel oil, was 28 n.m. off the coast of Fisterra in Galicia, Spain. The Spanish authorities decided to have the ship towed away from the coast, barring it from entering any port. After 6 days, the Prestige oil tanker broke in 2 and sank, spilling thousands of tons of fuel onto the coasts of Galicia and Cantabria as well as parts of France.