Faz Peermohamed, Partner, Global Head of Admiralty, Ince & Co. His talk considers the Prestige incident involving a large merchant tanker ship carrying 77,000 tonnes of persistent heavy fuel oil. The Spanish authorities refused her refuge and did not listen to the ship MasterÕs views on how best to save the vessel. The vessel was ordered to head out into the winter Atlantic at speed where she broke in two halves six days later, resulting in one of the largest oil spills in maritime history that affected a lengthy coastline. The Master was immediately arrested on coming ashore and placed in prison. He is currently facing criminal charges. This talk also addresses, therefore, the worrying and often unjustified trend towards the criminalisation of seafarers who become scapegoats for the mistakes of others and are held responsible for circumstances out of their control.