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It's an old oil tanker that was called the Exxon Valdez -- which can be seen on the transom of the ship as it sinks. The Valdez became famous in March of 1989 when the ship ran into the Bligh Reef in the Prince William Sound in Alaska, resulting in one of the United States' biggest and costliest oil spill disasters. The surrounding area was covered with crude oil leaked from the ruptured tanker, causing significant environmental damage that took years to clean up.
Hazelwood himself was accused of causing the spill because he was reportedly drunk, a charge he was exonerated of in 1990. An investigation later found that the ship's radar was disabled and had been so for over a year but the Exxon Corporation had refused to fix or replace it saying it was too costly. The ship was also not fully crewed at the time, another cost-cutting measure by Exxon. Hazelwood himself was not at the helm at the time of the accident but rather his 3rd mate was steering the ship and hit the reef.
The portrait of the man the Deacon calls "St Joe" is Hazelwood himself.
The Valdez was decommissioned and sold for scrap in 2012 after serving under a few other names and for several other shipping companies. She was taken to the state of Gujarat in India and beached for breaking. Edit
The movie was heavily cut for the Theatrical Version. Several years later, the American network ABC aired a reconstructed Extended Version that ran more than 43 minutes longer than the original theatrical version, featuring scenes that were cut prior to the movie's theatrical release. Later on this version was released on DVD as well. Edit
In short... no.
Much of the melting would make no difference at all to sea levels. This is because a lot of the ice in the arctic and antarctic is sea ice (ice floats and the icebergs are floating on water). Most of this is already below the waterline - and the only reason a small percentage of an iceberg sticks out of the water is that ice is a bit less dense than water. As it melted the berg would submerge completely, but the ice would also shrink by the same amount as it turned back into water. So the overall effect on the oceans would be zero, or at least very close to it.
What would matter is the ice that is on land melting and that extra water running into the oceans. We don't have a perfect number for how much of this ice there is, but we do know it is reasonably close, and if all the ice on land melted it would raise sea levels by around 400 feet (122 metres).
Given that most of the world's population lives within 400 feet of sea level, this would indeed be a global catastrophe of unprecedented scale, involving a horrific degree of death and destruction. But it would cover only a small fraction of the total surface. It is shown in a deleted scene that the Dry land they find at the end of the film is the top thousand feet or so of Mount Everest, which would indeed be the last place to flood if the ocean could rise that far. But in reality, a 400 foot sea level rise would leave the world with almost as much dry land as it has today, in percentage terms.
To give an example of how far the movie is from reality, consider that it shows the Mariner diving thousands of feet down to explore the sunken city of Denver. In reality a 400 foot sea level rise would leave Denver still almost a mile above sea level, and more than 1,000 miles (1,610 kilometres) inland from the coast. Edit