The oil tanker Exxon Valdez may be towed out of Prince William Sound in Alaska today to begin its journey to San Diego, where the vessel that caused the largest oil spill in U.S. history will be repaired, senior Coast Guard officers said Tuesday.
Coast Guard Capt. Jack Scarborough, captain of the Port of San Diego, and Coast Guard officers in Valdez, Alaska, said that initial plans called for the giant ship to be towed away on either Tuesday or today. However, officials in Valdez said the paper work for Coast Guard approval for the tow was not complete on Tuesday.
Scarborough said the Coast Guard is preparing for the ship's arrival at the National Steel & Shipbuilding Co., where it will be in dry dock for about nine months. Nassco built the Valdez in 1986. The shipyard was awarded the $25-million contract last month.
Scarborough said he will meet with San Diego city officials Thursday to brief them on the precautions that the Coast Guard and Exxon are taking to assure that the Valdez will not pose a pollution problem while in transit and when it arrives in San Diego Bay.