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THE CRASH of the Exxon Valdez in the waters off the coast of Alaska represents the worst oil spill in U.S. history, to date in the spring of 2004. On March 24, 1989, the Valdez tanker collided with Bligh Reef in the Valdez Narrows and spilled over 11 million gallons of crude oil into the waters of Prince William Sound.

Scheduled for a five-day trip from Valdez, Alaska, to Long Beach, California, the tanker was loaded with 1,264,164 barrels of North Slope crude. Just hours before the departure of the Exxon Valdez, its captain Joseph Hazelwood had been drinking a round or two of vodka. This factor was attributed as the primary cause of the accident. During the voyage, Hazelwood's speech was slurred while in radio ...

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