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 Selendang Ayu

SpillsSelendang Ayu

The Selendang Ayu, transporting a cargo of soya and with 1,600 tonnes of heavy fuel in her bunkers, suffered from damage to her engine in a storm and grounded on Unalaska Island, in the Aleutian Islands.

Due to extremely difficult conditions, the air-lifting of the crew proved to be a dramatic operation. A helicopter crashed and 6 sailors were killed in the incident.

Pollution response operations at sea became practically impossible, due to the difficult weather conditions and the movement of the zone. Response efforts were concentrated on the coast, involving the use of booms in the salmon river estuaries and clean-up operations similar to those carried out in France and Spain for the Erika and Prestige spills, but on a far smaller scale.

The commanding officer of the Malaysian cargo ship the Selendang Ayu was condemned to 3 years probation in March 2005 by an American court, for having lied about the time the damaged engine stopped. He had waited in a raging sea for not 11 but 13 hours before asking for assistance from a tug.

Name: Selendang Ayu

Date: 7 December 2004

Location: USA

Accident area: western shore of Unalaska Island, Alaska

Cause of spill: grounding

Quantity transported: 1,600 tonnes

Type of pollutant: bunker fuel oil

Quantity spilled: 1,300 tonnes

Ship type: bulk carrier

Length: 222 m

Flag: Malaysian


Last update: June 2011

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