The Beacon

Major Alaska Shipwreck and Oil Spill

Today is not a good day for the oceans. First the China spill, now this:

DEADLY SHIPWRECK NOW A MAJOR ALASKA OIL SPILL

Slick measured at 2.5 miles in diameter and expanding

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - As the search for six victims of a rescue helicopter crash was scaled back, officials on Friday turned to a growing problem stemming from the break up of a cargo ship off Alaska: a major oil spill near a sensitive wildlife refuge.

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 800 miles southwest of Anchorage, the area is home to sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, tanner crabs, halibut and kelp beds.

Here's the full story from MSNBC Online. It's fairly gruesome; it seems a Coast Guard helicopter rescued some of the ship's crew and then itself crashed. The victims haven't been found but chances of their surviving the frigid waters of the Bering Strait are slim. Meanwhile, the oil slick is growing...


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