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November 12-17, 1989
The ocean washes over the deck of the fully loaded Arco Anchorage during a moderate storm with 16-foot seas as it makes its way south through the Gulf of Alaska to Puget Sound.
Tankers full of trouble

A six-part Seattle Times special report
Crude deliveries push safety to the limit

Stories by Eric Nalder
Photographs by Craig Fujii

Every 14 hours on the average, an oil tanker cruises into Washington state's waters.

Most are laden with Alaskan crude oil, a toxic, viscous substance that can be as lethal to the environment as it is crucial to the economy.

It is the job of a tanker and its crew to make sure the oil remains a resource and not a destroyer.

Sometimes, they fail.

More introduction

Part 1

Cuts in crews put ships in a danger zone

Drunk on Duty: Pattern of wrist-slapping
 Part 2

Huge ships fall short on safety

Alaska Fleet: Cracks in the system
Part 3

Bottom line: Safety runs skin deep

Battle in Congress: Big oil spends cash by the barrel to keep double bottoms from becoming a rule
 Part 4

Coast Guard short on staff, expertise

Captain Tests: One license fits all
Part 5

Rosario Strait could be scene of next big spill

Sound System? Outdated radar tracking ships
 Part 6

The outlook: Are changes on horizon?

Canadian pipeline could be employed

Today Archive

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