On 2 October 1994, the oil tanker Cercal struck a rock while entering the harbour of Porto (Portugal). The breach in the vessel resulted in the release of around 2,500 tonnes of Arabian light crude oil into the sea.
In the aftermath, the European Parliament decided that this incident was in part due to the fact that the construction of vessels with segregated ballast tanks was not mandatory, in particular in the case of vessels transporting hazardous substances.
Thus on 27 October 1994, the European Parliament asked the Commission, in collaboration with the Portuguese State, to conduct an inquiry into the environmental consequences of this disaster, as well as the vulnerability of the Portuguese coast. The Parliament also requested that the Commission take the necessary measures to prevent this type of accident and to improve the safety of maritime transport.
Date: 2 October 1994
Accident area: port of Porto
Cause of spill: leak
Type of pollutant: Arabian light crude oil
Quantity spilled: 2,500 tonnes
Ship type: oil tanker
Last update: April 2011