20 Jun 2010

BP CEO Tony Hayward criticised for yacht race

4:03 pm on 20 June 2010

A yacht outing has seen fresh criticism unleashed on embattled BP chief Tony Hayward for his handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The White House and environmental groups have been quick to lash out after Mr Hayward was sighted at the JP Morgan Asset Management Round The Island Race, which sees hundreds of yachts race around the Isle of Wight, off England's south coast.

The White House said it appeared that "Mr Hayward had got his life back" - a reference to the BP boss's now-notorious slip.

Greenpeace said Tony Hayward's actions were the equivalent of rubbing salt into the wounds of those affected by the worst environmental disaster in US history.

BP defended its boss, saying no matter where he is, he is always in touch with what is happening.

No permanent solution to the devastating leak is expected until mid-August.

Earlier, BP said its main vessel capturing oil from the leak restarted after a 10-hour shutdown due to a blocked vent and lightning storm concerns.

The leak began after an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig on 20 April which killed 11 workers. The rig sank two days later.