Exxon Valdez

One of the Most Scandalous Ships of All TimeĀ 

Few names in the history of oil tankers and transportation have gained as widespread notoriety as the Exxon Valdez. The diesel-powered motorship was a large VLCC (very large crude carrier) oil tanker sporting a massive capacity of 1.48 million barrels. She stood 300 meters in length and had a deadweight tonnage of 209,836 DWT.

Built in San Diego, Exxon Valdez was delivered to the oil giant Exxon in the December of 1986. In the March of 1989, when carrying crude oil from Valdez (Alaska) to Long Beach (U.S.), she ran aground on an Alaskan reef. The incident resulted in the spilling of between 257,000 and 750,000 barrels of oil and was America’s second largest oil spill.

An estimated 900 bald eagles, 250,000 seabirds and 2,800 sea otters died as a direct result of the oil spill. More than 32,000 people who depended on fishing for livelihood lost over $300 million and even 12 years after the incident, all beaches could not be cleared of the oil.

After extensive repairs (worth $30 million) she returned to service in the 1902, before colliding with another cargo ship in South China Sea. She took her last voyage in 2012, bound to India for being scraped for $16 million.