- MV Selendang Ayu
The M/V "Selendang Ayu" was a
Malaysian cargo shipregistered to the IMC Group. It was carrying a cargo of soybeansfrom Seattle, Washington to Chinawhen it ran aground off the coast of Unalaska Islandin western Alaska's Aleutian Islandson December 8, 2004. This resulted in a large oil spill.
HH-60J Jayhawk helicoptersfrom the U.S. Coast Guard were involved in evacuating 18 of the ship's crewmembers, 9 to the Coast Guard cutter "Alex Haley". During attempts to save the last 8 crewmembers, Coast Guard CGNR 6020, an HH-60J from Air Station Kodiak was engulfed by a rogue wave that broke over the bow of the ship. When its engines flamed out from ingesting water, the Jayhawk crashed into the sea. Seven crew members from the ship had been hoisted into the aircraft. Another helicopter, the HH-65B Dolphin from the Coast Guard Cutter "Alex Haley" recovered the three-man Coast Guard crew and one of the crewmembers from the ship that had been on the aircraft. Later that night, the HH-65B returned to rescue the Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer and ship's master from the "Selendang Ayu", which had broken in half during their absence. This aircraft, CGNR 6513's crew would all be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for their actions. The Coast Guard searched for the remaining crew until their efforts were called off on December 10.
The ship had been carrying a significant amount of fuel, so there were fears that the "Selendang Ayu" could create the worst Alaskan
oil spillsince the "Exxon Valdez". One tank containing 40,131 gallons of fuel ruptured when the ship broke apart. It is estimated that 424,000 gallons of heavy bunker C fuel oiland 18,000 gallons of diesel fuelwas onboard when she grounded. Ultimately, 350,000 gallons of bunker oil and diesel spilled, which is about 2.9% of the volume of crude oil spilled from the Exxon Valdez. The crew had transferred the fuel internal tanks when the ship foundered, and heaters were turned off so that the fuel would thicken in the cold waters. However, environmental officials estimate that up to 1.28 million liters of thick fuel oil (338,000 US gallons) leaked from the freighter. [http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2004/12/30/alaska-spill041230.html Canadian Broadcasting Centre News: “Alaskan oil spill 8 times worse than thought: official”] ]
The carcasses of over 1600 birds and 6
sea otterswere recovered from beaches along the western shore of Unalaska Island after the spill. [http://www.dec.state.ak.us/SPAR/PERP/RESPONSE/SUM_FY05/041207201/041207201_index.htm United States Coast Guard, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation: “M/V Selendang Ayu”] ]
A unified command structure was established for the oil spill response with three primary authorities in charge. The U.S. Coast Guard, The State of Alaska (DEC), and representatives of the "Selendang Ayu". The unified command followed the National Incident Management System/ Incident Command System (NIMS/ICS) as outlined in the National Contingency Plan. NIMS/ICS establishes a structure for responding to major events such as the massive oil spill resulting from the grounded tanker.
* [http://www.dec.state.ak.us/SPAR/PERP/RESPONSE/SUM_FY05/041207201/041207201_index.htm State of Alaska incident report]
* [http://www.adn.com/front/story/5909351p-5816495c.html Crew describes rescue mission.] "Anchorage Daily News".
* [http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2004/12/30/alaska-spill041230.html More Oil Spilled than first estimated] "CBC"
* [http://www.maritimequest.com/freighters/selendang_ayu/selendang_ayu.htm Maritimequest Selendang Ayu Photo Gallery]
* [http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/2006/MAB0601.htm National Transportation Safety Board Report]
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