1 New Carissa

After the New Carissa, a giant freight ship, carrying over 300,000 gallons of fuel ran aground in a storm, the crew was removed from the ship by helicopter. Deeply concerned about a possible oil spill, experts on shore considered all their options. One solution they considered was to build a road across the sand dunes and from there, a pipeline out to the ship to pump the oil off. However oil was already escaping her tanks. The experts involved decided on a speedier solution, they would burn the oil. Every bit of oil that they could burn would be oil that would never reach the shore.

New Carissa 2

Naval explosive experts placed the charges they hoped would ignite the oil. They had to work in a hurry because a storm—packing sixty-five mile an hour winds and twenty five-foot swells—was approaching. When the plunger was pushed, the explosives ignited, but the blast failed to penetrate the thick steel of the tanks. This first attempt to ignite the oil failed. 

Stronger explosives were flown to the site. The storm stalled off the coast. This provided the naval experts the time to try it once more. This time the explosions ripped into the tanks and the oil was set a blaze, and the ship became a towering inferno of flames and black smoke. After five hours of burning the intense heat caused the ship to break in two. The ship burned for three days sending up flames as high as three hundred feet.

When the flames burned out, inspectors found 135,000 gallons of fuel left in the bow section. The fire had burned over 200,000 gallons of fuel but what was left still threatened to wreck the shore.

The failure to get rid of the oil by burning is like a bitter lesson that many people must learn about themselves. Once a person becomes convinced that God hates sins, the natural response of their heart is to try to balance out the evil that they have done by doing good. However, in the course of time, if they are honest with themselves, each one will make a startling discovery — despite all their best efforts they will find the black tendency in their hearts to do what is hateful in God's sight just as strong as it ever was.