The Selendang Ayu Oil Spill: Lessons Learned

Conference Held: August 16-19, 2005 - Unalaska, Alaska

On December 8, 2004, the Malaysian freighter Selendang Ayu went aground and broke in half at Skan Bay off Unalaska Island in the Aleutian chain. The accident sent 336,000 gallons of oil and 66,000 tons of soybeans into the water and onto the shores of the island. Six crew members died during a rescue attempt. State and federal agencies immediately sprang into action to minimize the damage and loss of life caused by the wreckage and the spill.

This book is the story of their efforts and the lessons everyone can learn from the disaster. Thirteen articles are by presenters at the Aleutian Life Forum conference August 2005, representing the response groups, and several essays are included by nonfiction writer Nancy Deschu.

For a succinct look at lessons learned on different fronts, by a community in the wake of an oil spill, see the chapter “Lessons Learned and Final Thoughts” (above). It informs other affected communities what preventive measures they can take and how to avoid pitfalls.