One of most detailed sources (written by Mobil Oil experts) (5) explains that "at 1900 hours on July 19, 1979, the 288,000-deadweight-ton (dwt) Atlantic Empress and the 207,000-dwt Aegean Captain collided in the Caribbean Sea. In the fiery aftermath of the accident, 27 crewmen lost their lives. There was a strong possibility that a total of 3.5 million barrels of crude oil would be spilled; this would have been the largest spill to that time. Nearby islands with their tourist beaches and coral reefs were threatened. And yet, even though the Atlantic Empress eventually sank after burning for 14 days, no oil came ashore and no indications of any environmental damage were observed.". Most of the oil in the Aegean Captain was saved after the ship was towed to port in Cuaraçao, while the Atlantic Empress was towed outwards from the place of the accident (at about 18 miles northeast of Tobago) towards the island of Barbados. Great efforts were made by salvage crews to save its cargo but after two weeks at sea and many explosions and fires, it sunk on 3rd August. A consequence of this terrible accident is that over 250,000 tons of crude oil were burned and were spilled to the ocean.