Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
The Exxon Valdez, a 986 foot long oil tanker carrying 1,264,155 barrels of crude oil, departed from the Trans Alaska Pipeline Terminal around 9 pm March 23, 1989.
She was manoeuvred through the Valdez Narrows by a harbor pilot who then handed her over to the master, Captain Hazelwood. Shortly after this icebergs were encountered in the shipping lane and the captain ordered a change of course to avoid them.
He handed over the bridge to the Third Mate with the instruction to put the ship back on course at a certain point.
The ship was never returned to the shipping lane, running aground on Bligh Reef just after midnight.
The reef ruptured the ship’s cargo tanks, and more than 250,000 barrels of crude oil spilled into the sea, polluting 1300 miles of Alaskan shoreline and killing thousands of birds, seals and otters.