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Major Fuel Spill

Old 12-10-2004, 02:38 PM
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Default Major Fuel Spill

Anyone see a Picture of this tanker split right in half
I seen it on the news it's a sad sight

Major Fuel Spill Threatens Alaskan Wilderness Area
Six Crew Members From Crashed Chopper Still Missing

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Dec. 10) -- A major spill of dense, viscous fuel from a freighter that ran aground was menacing sensitive wildlife habitat in the Aleutian Islands, but finding the six crew members lost at sea was the priority - despite their diminishing odds for survival.

No sign of the missing crew had been found as of Friday morning. Petty Officer Amy Thomas said aircraft were not searching in the dark but would fly out at first light late morning. Two cutters were at the scene of the grounding and another cutter with oil vacuuming equipment was en route and expected to arrive by Saturday morning, Thomas said.

Thousands of gallons of heavy bunker fuel and diesel spilled from a soybean freighter that was ripped clean in half off the shore of Unalaska Island. Near a wildlife refuge, the area is home to sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, tanner crabs, halibut and kelp beds.

But with resources scarce in the harsh area 800 miles southwest of Anchorage, the search for the missing took precedence over the environmental threat.

''There are only so many boats and so many planes, and they have been directed to the search for life,'' Kurt Fredriksson, acting commissioner for the Department of Environmental Conservation, said Thursday.

Coast Guard rescue crews searched into the night, with officials saying they had not given up on finding someone alive. Estimates put survival in the 43-degree waters of the Bering Sea at about three hours.

The six crew members were plunged into the sea when a rescue helicopter crashed Wednesday while evacuating them from the freighter. Four others, including three Coast Guard personnel, were rescued from the water by a second helicopter that evening and were in good condition Thursday.

The Coast Guard said the cause of the crash was still unknown.

The 738-foot Selendang Ayu was cleaved neatly in two, both pieces grounded upright and parallel about 200 feet from the shore near Skan Bay on the western side of the island. Farther upshore lay the wreckage of the Coast Guard helicopter, its red fuselage blackened and barely recognizable.

The freighter belongs to Singapore-based IMC Group. IMC crew manager Loh C.W. Weng said the missing were five Indian citizens: Z.M. Vaz, age 46; Blaise M. Mascarenhas, 33; Narendra S. Yadav, 52; Durg V. Singh, 54; and Didlar Singh, 44. Carlos Flores Santiago, 45, is the missing crew member from the Philippines.

Rescuers battled rolling seas, 30-knot winds and the thin winter daylight. On Thursday evening, officials said boats would continue the search into the night.

''It's always challenging in the Alaska environment, but these aircraft crews are some of the best we've got,'' Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Darrell Wilson said.

Fredriksson said it was not known how much fuel had leaked, but called it a major spill that could take months to clean up. ''We are in winter and in a very difficult Aleutian Island environment that will put everybody to the test,'' he said.

The freighter was carrying 480,000 gallons of heavy bulk fuel and another 21,000 gallons of diesel fuel.

IMC has contracted a spill response company, Fredriksson said. He said the rough seas could help disperse some of the oil to the open sea. ''That may be a good thing, in terms of shoreline impact,'' he said.

DEC spokeswoman Lynda Giguere said conservation officials will be working with the Department of Fish and Game to determine potential threats to wildlife.

''The fuel we're dealing with is No. 6 fuel oil. It's a very dense, viscous oil and it's not easy to clean up,'' Giguere said. ''This is particularly persistent. It's high viscosity and it tends to remain on the surface. It's not good stuff.''

12-10-04 1156 EST

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press.
The Malaysian cargo ship Selendang sits about 500 off Unalaska Island, Alaska, after breaking in half.

Last edited by CAP071; 12-10-2004 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 12-10-2004, 02:51 PM
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Default Re: Major Fuel Spill

Yeah.......sad situation. You know it's your time when the rescue chopper that rescued you crashes.
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Old 12-10-2004, 02:55 PM
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Default Re: Major Fuel Spill

Unfortunate Accident.

Sorry about the environment but there is more natural leakage of petrol in the oceans everyday than this unfortunate catastrophe, let's not make stuff bigger than they are, basically like the bark chewing spotted owl kissing media does.

There goes the market for the popular Aleutian Poker Run.
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Old 12-10-2004, 02:55 PM
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Wow. Bad news all together.
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