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Exxon Valdez Oil Spill - Coursework Example

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"Exxon Valdez Oil Spill" paper discusses the details leading up to and following the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Specific details on cleanup and ecological damages are also discussed. This oil spill dispersed about eleven million gallons of oil into Alaskan waters and the oil damaged coastlines…
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Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
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Download file to see previous pages The oil tanker Exxon Valdez left the Trans Alaskan port on the 23rd of March 1989 at past 9 in the evening with its path set to traverse Valdez Narrows. Joe Hazelwood was the captain of this oil tanker and that night, he retired to his quarters and asked William Murphy to steer the ship through the Valdez Narrows (Lindemann, et.al., 2007). After some control difficulties, the oil tanker ran aground on the Bligh Reef three hours after its departure from the port. A review by the National Transportation Safety Board revealed five causes for the incident. These causes were: the third mate’s failure to control the vessel coupled with the master’s failure to establish navigation watch; the shipping company’s failure to secure a well-rested crew to man the tanker; the US Coast Guard’s failure to provide a traffic system for the tanker; and the ship’s lack of adequate pilot and escort services (Wheelright, 1994). These factors taken together led to the oil spill.

The Exxon Valdez tanker was carrying about 53 million gallons of oil at the time of the spill and eleven million gallons were spilled into Alaskan waters during the oil spill (Lindemann, et.al., 2007). Further investigation also revealed that the captain of the vessel was drunk during that night and his judgment on the running of the vessel was severely compromised; moreover, he failed to assign positions to the appropriate individuals that night of the spill. This led to one of the largest oil spills in history and a response to the oil spill which was very much overcome with uncertainty and incompetence. The result of the spill led to about four years of cleanup which was later called off. The costs of the cleanup amounted to about 2.1 million dollars (Lindemann, et.al., 2007). ). But since the cleanups were called off, many beaches and coastlines were never really cleaned. To this day, tar balls and oil are washed up on these coastlines and these are unlikely to ever sustain any life form. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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