“This time it’s personal,” vows ex-skipper of Exxon Valdez
NEW ORLEANS – Joseph Hazelwood, who was captain of the Exxon Valdez at the time it struck a reef and dumped eleven million gallons of oil into Prince William Sound, has been lured out of retirement by BP to contain the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Captain Hazelwood said that for this mission, he will recommission the Valdez, which has been in mothballs since the 1989 disaster, and “get the old gang together” for first time in 21 years to serve as his crew. “This time it’s personal,” he said.
BP acknowledged that some Gulf Coast residents might feel squeamish about seeing the Exxon Valdez steaming toward the site of the spill. “But no one is more knowledgeable about oil spills than Captain Hazelwood,” said BP spokesman Noah Swayne.
“BP is giving Captain Hazelwood the opportunity to both redeem himself and save the planet at the same time,” Mr. Swayne explained. “If he fails, then no one can blame BP for the environmental cataclysm that’s sure to follow. Once more, the blame would fall where it belongs — on Joseph Hazelwood.”