Exxon Valdez captain offers apology for 1989 spill

Joe Hazelwood, captain of the doomed oil tanker Exxon Valdez, is offering "a very heartfelt apology" to Alaskans for the disastrous 1989 oil spill in Prince William Sound.

The apology comes at the end of a new, 288-page book commemorating the 20th anniversary of the spill.

The book features 62 "personal stories" from people involved with the spill, from people aboard the tanker to Alaska politicians to cleanup workers to U.S. Coast Guard officers to reporters who covered one of the state's biggest stories.

The piece de resistance is an interview with Hazelwood, a largely reclusive figure since the shipwreck that sank his career as a tanker captain.

Sharon Bushell, a Homer writer known for collecting oral histories, traveled to New York City in February 2008 to record the Hazelwood interview after he agreed to take part in the book project, said Stan Jones, spokesman for the Valdez-based oil industry watchdog group that commissioned the book.

In "The Spill: Personal Stories from the Exxon Valdez Disaster," Hazelwood says he now works as an investigator and technical consultant with a maritime law firm in New York.

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