Resilient Sea

Despite forecasts of doom, the Shetlands have weathered the great oil spill amazingly well

FOR SIX RELENTLESS DAYS, HUGE waves and strong winds mercilessly pounded the oil tanker Braer, grounded on the rocks of Fitful Head in the unspoiled Shetland Islands. Bit by bit, the cargo of 26 million gal. of Norwegian light crude leaked into the sea, turning it chocolate brown. On the seventh day, the pounding caused spouts of oil to gush spasmodically from deck hatches, making the tanker look like some pitiful beached whale blowing black blood in the throes of death. The following day the ship did die, splitting into at least three pieces and releasing all its remaining oil into...

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