Feature

Disaster at sea

The week's news at a glance.

Unalaska Island, Alaska

Alaskan rescuers this week stopped searching for six shipwrecked sailors who were pitched into icy waters when a helicopter crashed trying to save them. The men had been aboard the Malaysian freighter Selendang Ayu, which ran aground and split in two off Unalaska Island, in the Bering Sea. The Coast Guard helicopter crew survived, and 20 other sailors were rescued. At least 40,000 gallons of the 738-foot vessel’s 500,000 gallons of oil and fuel quickly leaked out near a wildlife refuge full of endangered sea lions and birds. Salvage crews battled violent seas trying to contain the spill, which threatened to become the worst in Alaska since the Exxon Valdez lost 11 million gallons, in 1989.

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