Saturday, December 26, 2009


I've been following one of the most ironic news stories of the decade, yet it apparently isn't important enough to make CNN or even BBC.

On Wednesday evening a 136 foot long tug that is part of the oil spill response system in Prince William Sound ran aground on Bligh Reef, ripping a 4 to 5 foot section off her keel and rupturing three of her nine fuel tanks, releasing diesel fuel in the water. Bligh Reef is the structure responsible for a "the Hazelwood Incident", in which the Exxon Valdez ran aground slightly more than 20 years ago. Unlike the Exxon Valdez grounding, alcohol consumption by the crew has been ruled out, but there is no other information about how the accident occurred.

Details of the story, such as they are, can be read on the Alaska Daily News site, at

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich echoed the thoughs of many Alaskans when he said it was troubling that a spill response vessel "managed to run aground on one of the most well-marked and well-known reefs in the Northern Hemisphere." 

It wasn't immediately known how much fuel was spilled. The Coast Guard said Thursday that two of its tanks - containing an estimated 33,500 gallons of diesel fuel - were damaged.

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