A former second mate under the fired Exxon captain implicated in the Alaskan oil spill says the skipper was frequently drunk and failed to follow regulations, according to reports.
Bruce Amero, who worked for Exxon for eight years, has a $2.075 million lawsuit pending against Exxon in New York court charging that Capt. Joseph Hazelwood and other officers harassed him.In a lengthy pretrial depostion given 18 months ago, Amero said that Hazelwood "constantly . . . appeared to be intoxicated" when he was in command of the vessel, The Boston Globe reported Saturday.
Amero said Hazelwood held regular drinking parties in his room on board ship, and added that he once saw Hazelwood throw four empty quart bottles of Jack Daniels whiskey overboard.
"There's a bad joke in the fleet that it's Captain Hazelwood and his chief mate, Jack Daniels, that run the ship," he said in the deposition.
Hazelwood was captain of the Exxon Valdez on March 24 when it crashed into a reef and spilled more than 10 million gallons of oil into Prince William Sound in the nation's worst oil spill.
Hazelwood, 42, faces three misdemeanor charges in Alaska of operating a ship while intoxicated, reckless endangerment and negligent discharge of oil. He is free on $25,000 bail after surrendering last week on Long Island, where he lives.
Amero, who now lives in Amherst, N.H., also said Hazelwood "falsified the deck logbook about fire and boat drills."