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Captain of Exxon Valdez tanker behind infamous 1989 Alaskan crude oil spill dies of COVID and cancer

The captain on the helm of one of America’s worst environmental disasters, which noticed near 11 million gallons of crude oil spill into pristine Alaskan waters and value about $1.85 billion to scrub up, has died at age 75.

Joseph Hazelwood has turn out to be synonymous with the Alaskan oil spill, which coated 1,500 miles of the Gulf of Alaska shoreline in March 1989, killing wildlife and destroying ecosystems.

The information of Hazelwood’s passing was first reported by a commerce publication in July however was not picked up by nationwide retailers for six weeks.

Hazelwood, a 75-year-old mariner who lived in Huntington, New York, on Long Island was combating COVID-19 and cancer on the time of his loss of life, his nephew instructed the New York Times.

Hazelwood was the captain of the Exxon Valdez when it ran aground on Alaska’s Bligh Reef and had been discovered to be intoxicated on the time.

Joseph Hazelwood (pictured in 2014), the captain of the tanker Exxon Valdez, which ran aground on an Alaskan reef in March 1989 has died age 75

Hazelwood was the captain of the Exxon Valdez (pictured right) when it ran aground on Alaska's Bligh Reef and had been found to be intoxicated at the time of the spill.

Hazelwood was the captain of the Exxon Valdez (pictured proper) when it ran aground on Alaska’s Bligh Reef and had been discovered to be intoxicated on the time of the spill.

The 75-year-old mariner (left) who lived in Huntington, New York, on Long Island was struggling with COVID-19 and cancer at the time of his death

The 75-year-old mariner (left) who lived in Huntington, New York, on Long Island was combating COVID-19 and cancer on the time of his loss of life

An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) stated the possible trigger of the grounding was the failure of the third mate to correctly maneuver the vessel as a result of of fatigue and extreme workload.

Hazelwood had not been on the bridge on the time of the incident, however the investigation discovered that his failure to supply a correct navigation watch was on account of alcohol impairment.

The Exxon Shipping Company, an Exxon Corporation subsidiary, additionally failed to supply a match captain and a rested and adequate crew.

The NTSB additionally discovered an absence of efficient Vessel Traffic Service and pilotage companies.

Hazelwood was the captain of the Exxon Valdez when it ran aground on Alaska’s Bligh Reef and had been found to be intoxicated at the time of the spill (pictured)

Hazelwood was the captain of the Exxon Valdez when it ran aground on Alaska’s Bligh Reef and had been discovered to be intoxicated on the time of the spill (pictured)

The spill exterminated wildlife across the Gulf coastline and spread across 1,500 miles

The spill exterminated wildlife throughout the Gulf shoreline and unfold throughout 1,500 miles 

Thousands of people helped in the cleanup effort but it was still one of America's biggest environmental disasters to date

Thousands of folks helped within the cleanup effort nevertheless it was nonetheless one of America’s largest environmental disasters to this point

The oil slick covered rich fishing areas and destroyed habitats spurring the Congress to pass the Oil Pollution Act of 1990

The oil slick coated wealthy fishing areas and destroyed habitats spurring the Congress to go the Oil Pollution Act of 1990

A jury acquitted Hazelwood of a felony cost of working a vessel whereas intoxicated however convicted him of a misdemeanor cost for negligently discharging oil.

Hazelwood was slapped with a $50,000 nice and needed to conduct 1,000 hours of neighborhood service whereas the coast guard suspended his license for 9 months, however he by no means returned to the ocean.

Congress handed the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 because of the spill which streamlined and strengthened the Environmental Protection Agency’s capacity to forestall and reply to catastrophic oil spills.

Thousands of staff and volunteers helped to scrub up after the oil spill, however regardless of determined efforts, the spill exterminated a lot of native wildlife, together with salmon, herring, sea otters, bald eagles, and killer whales.

In an interview with CNN in 2014, Hazelwood stated he had requested permission to cross over the separation zone and that there had been ice within the lane.

‘Two ships previous to me had completed it,’ he stated.

‘I went right down to my office I had some paperwork to fill out and had to have a look at the newest climate, the flip was initiated it was simply initiated late.’

Talking to the New York Times in 1999 Hazelwood stated whereas he felt regret, the crime was the bottom you can get in Alaska.

A jury acquitted Hazelwood of a felony charge of operating a vessel while intoxicated but convicted him of a misdemeanour charge for negligently discharging oil

A jury acquitted Hazelwood of a felony cost of working a vessel whereas intoxicated however convicted him of a misdemeanour cost for negligently discharging oil

Hazelwood was fined $50,000 conducted 1,000 hours of community service after the spill (pictured) while the coast guard suspended his license for 9 months, but never returned to sea

Hazelwood was fined $50,000 carried out 1,000 hours of neighborhood service after the spill (pictured) whereas the coast guard suspended his license for 9 months, however by no means returned to sea

The native wildlife, including salmon, herring, sea otters, bald eagles and killer whales were affected

The native wildlife, together with salmon, herring, sea otters, bald eagles and killer whales had been affected

The spill covered the coastline with a greasy oily residue which blackened the region

The spill coated the shoreline with a greasy oily residue which blackened the area 

‘As grasp of the vessel, I settle for accountability for the vessel and the actions of my subordinates,’ he stated.

‘I’ve by no means tried to keep away from that. I’m not some remorseless oaf.

‘But the crime I used to be convicted of is a B misdemeanor. There’s no decrease crime within the state of Alaska. The choose needed to give you a sentence. I can perceive it. I haven’t got to agree with it.’

Hazelwood was born on September 24, 1946, in Hawkinsville, Georgia, and graduated from Huntington High School, and acquired a bachelor’s diploma in marine transportation from the State University of New York Maritime College within the Bronx in 1968.

By age 32 he was the youngest captain working for Exxon.

The maritime faculty employed Hazelwood as a instructor aboard the coaching ship Empire State V a year after the Exxon Valdez spill.

While dwelling on Long Island, he later labored as a paralegal and maritime advisor for Chalos & Brown, which had represented him in his authorized circumstances. 

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