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 Spyros Lemnos

SpillsSpyros Lemnos

On 1st November 1968, the oil tanker Spyros Lemnos was transporting crude oil from Venezuela to Killingholme, England, when it broke in two 14 miles off the port of Vigo (Spain).

The fore part was found two days later with one person onboard. A search mission was immediately launched to find the stern of the vessel and the 29 other crew members.

During the night of 3 to 4 November, 10 men were spotted in a lifeboat. A few hours later, the bow part of the Spyros Lemnos was found, more than 50 miles from the stern, with 14 crew members onboard.

The fore part was not able to be towed due to the adverse weather conditions, and represented a danger for other vessels. It was therefore deliberately sunk by a Spanish warship, 45 miles west of Cape Finisterre. The rear part was taken in tow, but sank off the coast of Pontevedra (Galicia).

This shipwrecking caused the pollution of the Spanish Atlantic coast, from Finisterre to the Basque country, lasting up to two months after the accident.


  • HOOKE, Norman, 1997, Maritime Casualties 1963-1996, second edition, LLP Limited, London

Name: Spyros Lemnos

Date: 1st November 1968

Location: Spain

Accident area: Cape Finisterre, Galicia

Cause of spill: structural damage to vessel

Type of pollutant: Venezuelan heavy crude oil

Quantity spilled: 15,000 tonnes

Ship type: oil tanker

Date built: 1953

Flag: Liberian

Last update: April 2009

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