“Ships in Arctic Make Rescuers Sit ‘Up at Night’” (front page, July 24) is on point that prevention is the best course of action. Preventive measures for the worst case are in the works.
In the event of a shipwreck, a heavy fuel oil spill has been identified as the top threat to Arctic marine life and to Arctic residents who depend on this sea for food. Heavy fuel oil is far more toxic than lighter fuels, breaking down slowly, particularly in the cold Arctic.
Uncharted waters, extraordinary distances from infrastructure, severe weather, darkness and hazards including sea ice make spill response essentially impossible. Costs to shippers for a spill would be extreme.