On December 8, 2004, the 738-foot cargo vessel M/V Selendang Ayu, ran aground and broke in half off Unalaska Island in the Aleutian Islands. Six of the vessel's crew members were lost in the rescue effort. The cargo vessel, which was bound to Asia with a 60,000-ton soybean load, was carrying approximately 425,000 gallons of Intermediate Fuel Oil 380 and 21,000 gallons of marine diesel oil; an estimated 354,218 gallons of those oils were released into the environment. Approximately 86 miles of shoreline habitat were oiled. Approximately 1,800 dead birds were collected, and at least two sea otters died due to the spill. Other marine mammals, anadromous fish, and various types of shoreline habitats were also impacted. The human uses of those impacted natural resources were also likely impaired. Despite cleanup efforts, oil persisted in some habitats at least until 2008.
For more detailed information about the spill go to: http://www.fws.gov/alaska/fisheries/contaminants/spill/sa_index.htm
M/V Selendang Ayu aground and broken in two on the shore of Unalaska Island, December 11, 2004, Credit: AK Dept of Environmental Conservation