Environmental Sciences And Ethics Paper Exxon Valdez

1115 words - 4 pages

One drunken Captain Joseph J. Hazelwood creates the world’s worst oil spill with the help from Exxon USA. Exxon enabled Captain Hazelwood, a drunk, to have control of one of their oil tankers. Since Exxon knew of Hazelwood’s alcohol problem, they bare a large part of the blame that causes this environmental disaster.The harbor pilot gives back control of the oil tanker Exxon Valdez, to Hazelwood. The captain started giving a series of unusual orders such as, ordering Maureen Jones to stand her watch from the bridge instead of at the point 800 ft in front of the bridge. Ordered the helmsman, Harry Claar, to accelerate to sea speed and to put the ship on autopilot, all of these orders were in place before the Exxon Valdez is in the open waters. In direct contradiction of Exxon’s policy, Hazelwood left the bridge and went below deck, leaving command of the bridge with Third Mate Gregory T. Cousin. Before leaving the bridge Hazelwood gave orders to the Third Mate Cousins to continue southerly to the lighted buoy off Busby Island, and then returned the Exxon Valdez back into the shipping lanes. Cousins discovered that the ship was on autopilot, Cousins turned off the autopilot and turn on the radar in-order to concentrate on missing any ice floes in the shipping lanes. Hazelwood planned a course that would shirt the southern edge of that 10-mile opening in-order to avoid the ice floes. Third Mate Cousins was consumed with the calculations needed in-order to make the turn back safely back into the shipping lanes, but he missed the Busby Island light where he was to start his turn. Cousins had no idea how far off course he was until the ships lookout, Jones, informed him the flashing red light off Bligh Island was on the starboard side which is not where he should have been when heading out to sea.Cousins tried to head back to the shipping lanes, to no avail, in a short period time about 15 minutes the ship went aground on the Bligh Reef causing eight holes to be punched into the hull. The Exxon Valdez started spilling its cargo into the Prince William Sound, ultimately about 11 million gallons of crude oil. Cousins called the Captain back to the bridge, and Hazelwood spent 15 to 20 minutes trying to back off the Bligh Reef to no avail. Once Hazelwood finally realized he was not going to able to free the Exxon Valdez from the reef, only then did he finally contact the Coast Guard to inform them of the grounding of his ship Exxon Valdez on Bligh Reef and that the ship was spilling oil into the sea.Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, the consortium of seven oil companies. Alyeska, when they were seeking approval for the pipeline, boasted and promised that the operations in Prince William Sound would be the safest in the world. The Alyeska safety plan called for containment booms, and skimming equipment, and barges in-order to off load the oil from a spill to shore for disposal.Unfortunately, Alyeska had estimated that a spill of the size of...

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