A British Royal Navy pilot reported tonight that the stranded tanker Torrey Canyon had broken back and that her oil was pouring out in greater quantities than before.
MS & CU Torrey Canyon (2 shots)
MS Waves breaking over the sides
LS Ditto & helicopter carrying Wilson
MS Wilson out of helicopter
MS Reporters etc
MS Wilson in press room
CU Wilson speaking "While a final decision ...Ends:....territorial waters"
MS Pan across oil on water into port
CU Oil in quay
LS Pan across New quay
MS Troops on water's edge
CU With equipment etc (2 shots)
MS Two struggling birds
Ms & CU Man picking up oil on stick
MS Firemen with hoses
MS Hoses on oil
MS Troops opening drums
MS Troops at work
MS Bird being cleaned
MS to LS Torrey Canyon
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 9: WILSON: "While a final decision must await the refloating, if this is achieved, the owners and the salvage company are aware that it is not the Government's present intention to allow entry into territorial waters."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: A British Royal Navy pilot reported tonight that the stranded tanker Torrey Canyon had broken back and that her oil was pouring out in greater quantities than before. The news came only a few hours after the British Prime Minister, Mr Harold Wilson, had announced that the vessel would not be allowed in British territorial waters even if attempts to refloat her were successful.
Mr Wilson had broken his Easter holiday on the Scilly Isles to confer with Government Ministers on the danger the tanker's spilling cargo held for some of the most beautiful holiday beaches in the country, and to the wildlife which lives around them.
He made his statement after the conference at Culdrose Air Force base near Penzance, itself in the stricken area.
Tonight the Admiralty confirmed that the 661,000-ton vessel had broken her back earlier in the day when a Dutch salvage ship tried to pull her off the Seven Stones Reef, off Land's End. The Torrey Canyon, a spokesman said, had split down both sides of her hull.
The day had begun with twenty-eight boatloads of soldiers using detergents in an attempt to break up a 13-mile (20 kms) tentacle of oil oozing with the help of a gale-force wind. Sixty-miles (100 kilometres) of shoreline were already being invaded and the dangers were growing every hour with the prospect of the highest tide of the year to come tomorrow.
Earlier, the British Minister of Housing and Local Government, Mr. Anthony Wedgwood Benn, who had been leading the Government's emergency team handling the crisis, discounted Press speculation that the detergents being used would do serious harm to marine life, but said that he would keep a close watch on the side effects of the spraying operations.