The Shetland Oil Disaster

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Above: Jim Dickson, the emergency services' incident control officer (in white shirt), addressing a press conference yesterday. He was one of the men winched down on to the deck of the Braer in an attempt to attach a tow rope, and was still on board when it hit the rocks on the west side of Garth's Ness peninsula. Left: puffins at Sumburgh Head, a rocky promontory at the southern tip of the Shetland mainland where the tanker ran aground, and an important summer nesting site for seabirds. Environmentalists fear a catastrophe among birds and other wildlife. Below: the Torrey Canyon, which broke up off Cornwall in 1967 while laden with Kuwaiti crude oil. The resulting 35-mile-long slick, which killed 50,000 birds, was Britain's worst pollution disaster and the first such incident to illustrate the huge environmental hazards of moving millions of gallons of oil at sea.

(Photographs omitted)