Relieved officials reported Saturday that an 800-foot oil tanker that ran aground off a remote shore of Oahu spilled only 33,600 gallons of oil - not the 117,000 gallons feared earlier.
A Coast Guard strike force, members of Exxon Shipping Co.'s Casualty Response team and a private diving company examined the tanker Saturday."Only three of the vessel's 15 cargo tanks are damaged," said Exxon President Frank Iarossi. "The remaining 12 tanks are fully sound and undamaged. This is significantly less damage than we had initially anticipated."
Initial reports said the 25-year-old tanker Exxon Houston lost 117,000 gallons of oil when it broke loose from its moorings Thursday evening and ran aground on a reef on the southwest corner of Oahu.
"One of the vessel's two fuel tanks was ruptured. The tank contained 2,200 barrels of oil at the time of the incident and we initially feared that all of that oil had been lost from the vessel," Iarossi said.
"However, our survey today revealed that 2,000 barrels of this fuel oil remains on board. It is floating on top of 12 feet of water, which seeped in from the bottom of the tank."