40 years on, Brittany tanker wreck is magnet for divers

The seaweed-covered hull of the Amoco Cadiz is slowly sinking into the seabed (AFP pic)

RENNES: Forty years after it sank, the remains of a supertanker wrecked off northwestern France have become a favourite spot for divers when the weather allows.

On March 16, 1978, the Amoco Cadiz tanker ran aground off the Brittany coast, causing one of the world’s worst oil pollution disasters.

The 227,000-ton tanker broke up on the reefs off the small fishing port of Portsall, covering miles of coastline in oil.

Its hull, broken into three separate rusted parts and now covered in seaweed, is slowly sinking into the seabed.

Thousands of soldiers and volunteers spent three months cleaning up 360 kilometres (220 miles) of coastline and trying to save hundreds of oil-coated seabirds.

Local mayors and regional authorities spent 14 years tied up in court before winning compensation from the US company that operated the ship.