A break in the weather on Firday

Clean-up crews took advantage of a break in the weather to restart oil recovery on Unalaska Island, the site of the grounded freighter Selendang Ayu.
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The storm that blasted through the Aleutians left the wreckage in much worse shape and may have caused tens of thousands of gallons of bunker fuel to be released from damaged tanks.
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New pictures of the grounded freighter show the bow section is almost completely submerged. When the Selendang Ayu broke apart, officials estimated the bow section held 176,000 gallons of heavy bunker fuel.
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Now, little hope remains of retrieving any of that.
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Salvage equipment from the other side of the globe passed through Anchorage last night. A Japan Airlines flight hauled the equipment from Amsterdam, Holland for Smit Maritime Contractors. The flight required special permission from the U.S. Department of Transportation. “Had we not been able to get the rights from the Department of Transportation, probably this equipment would have had to been trucked out of Amsterdam to another location, flown into another airport in the United States and then brought up to Anchorage and then taken out,” said Morton Plumb Jr. (right), the director of Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. A Lynden Air Cargo flight hauled the equipment to Dutch Harbor today.
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“The smallest amount of oil can get a bird very cold because it affects their insulation,” said Jay Holcomb of the International Bird Rescue and Research Center.
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The International Bird Rescue and Research Center in Anchorage continues to treat oiled birds. It released four yesterday in Whittier. Caretakers perform blood tests on the birds to check their health, along with feeding them antibiotics. So far they’ve seen auklets, murres, gulls and ducks, but they expect to treat others.
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“The bad thing about this is it tends to often be toxic for the birds, so in their attempt to get the oil off of their feathers, they preen it and they do that with their mouths. And if they swallow any of it, they can become anemic,” Holcomb said (below).
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Crews began cleaning oil beaches today after the storm passed. Water skimming is scheduled to begin next week, and crews must also being the complicated task of removing oil from the ship's stern section by helicopter. That’s expected to begin by the first of the year. Crews are hopeful they can remove more than 120,000 gallons of fuel that they believe still remain in the rear section of the wreckage.