HARD AGROUND - Wreck of the Exxon Valdez - March 24, 1989

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SKIPPER'S MOTHER CONFIRMS HE HAD DRINKING PROBLEM

The Associated Press

Anchorage Daily News
Date: 03/29/89
Day: Wednesday
Edition: Final
Section: Nation
Page: A10

MINEOLA, N.Y.- The mother of Joseph J. Hazelwood, captain of the oil tanker Exxon Valdez, confirmed Tuesday her son had a history of alcohol abuse and that Exxon was aware of it.

"I do know that he had a problem with alcohol in the past," Margaret Hazelwood said in a telephone interview. "I know he was rehabilitated. Exxon knows it."

"But I had thought things were on an even keel," she added. She declined to elaborate on that comment, and refused to say anything further about her son's drinking.

Hazelwood, 42, also of Huntington, N.Y., was captain of the Valdez when it went aground Friday in Prince William Sound. Exxon officials said Hazelwood had left the bridge and command of the ship in the hands of an officer uncertified to pilot through the Sound.

Hazelwood is banned from driving in New York and New Hampshire because of a drunken driving conviction in North Conway, N.H., six months ago. His license was revoked two other times for drunken driving violations between 1984 and 1986.

Mrs. Hazelwood said her son has been in close touch with his wife since the incident.

"He calls her whenever he can get to a phone but it's difficult because the hearings are going on," said Mrs. Hazelwood.

Exxon spokesmen have declined to comment on Hazelwood's drinking problem except for an acknowledgement on Sunday by Exxon Shipping Co. President Frank Iarossi that Hazelwood had a problem at least five years ago.


Story Index:
Main | The Captain
Overall: story 18 of 380 Previous Next
The Captain story 5 of 56 Previous Next

   
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