The Exxon Valdez oil spill reveals how human-made environmental disasters can bring about not just destructions on the environment, but can also affect other sectors of the society, especially regulation and community wellbeing. The massive impact of the oil spill on the…
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The Exxon Valdez departed from the Trans Alaska Pipeline station in Valdez, Alaska on the 23rd of March 1989 at 9:12 pm (Leacock 7). The navigator William Murphy led the supertanker through the Valdez Narrows, with steersman Harry Claar driving and Captain Joe Hazelwood supervising. When the supertanker successfully passed through the Valdez Narrows, Murphy abandoned the vessel (Sylves & Comfort 78). When the ship came across icebergs in the shipping lanes, the captain instructed the steersman to drive the supertanker out of the shipping lanes to prevent hitting the icebergs. He afterward assigned Gregory Cousins to the wheelhouse, and then Robert Kagan took the place of Claar as steersman. However, Kagan and Cousins were not able to return to the shipping lanes for unknown reasons and the supertanker got stranded on Bligh Reef (Sylves & Comfort 78-79).
On the 24th of March, 1989, the Exxon Valdez, a supertanker measuring 987 feet, shipwrecked on Bligh Reef, discharging more than 260,000 barrels or 11 million gallons of crude oil into the previously unspoiled surroundings and ecosystem of Prince William Sound (York 399). The spilled oil flowed and scattered to the southwest along the Alaska Peninsula, Kodiak Archipelago, and the Kenai Peninsula, which was 750 km from the point of origin. The oil spill in due course spread all over 11,000 square miles of ocean and smeared 1,300 miles of shoreline (Bryan 28). The National Transportation Safety Board made the investigation and identified five possible causes of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. First, Gregory Cousins was not able to correctly guide the ship, perhaps because of exhaustion and too much amount of work (Hellstrom 367).
Second, the captain was not able to hand over an appropriate navigation tool, perhaps because of deficiency from alcohol. Third, competent escort and pilot personnel
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