The Sinking of the Prestige
Were Rogue Waves Responsible?
- Alfred Osborne, University of Torino, Italy
The Sinking of the Prestige makes available for the first time "The Prestige Report," the official history, case details, and expert testimonial presented in 2012. For the world maritime industry, a key issue raised by the Prestige incident was whether classification societies can be held responsible for the consequences of incidents of this type. In May 2003, the Kingdom of Spain brought civil suit in the Southern District of New York against the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), the Houston-based international classification society that had certified the Prestige as "in class" for its final voyage. Spain's original damage claim against ABS was some $700 million. This important case has been declared as a possibly precedent-setting one that could prove fateful for international classification societies, whose assets are dwarfed by the scale of claims to which they could become subject. In addition to providing the details of the case, The Sinking of the Prestige also provides a broad understanding of rogue waves and their effects on ships and the oil industry.