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PWS spill contingency question

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  • PWS spill contingency question

    If/when another oil spill ever happens in the sound is there a plan in place or a group (CG aux?) who would need volunteers with boats to help? I've seen many pics and stories of groups collecting coated birds, otters, etc. Who does that? Is there a volunteer group who has a plan for PWS and would need volunteer boats? I know time would be critical so those of us in AK would be a great quick asset. Or is it a case of the Coast Guard closes everything and no traffic is allowed in the entire area? Maybe some of the USCG Aux would have an answer.

  • #2
    The Coast Guard has a contingency plan for spills in PWS. Have no idea whether it contemplates involvement by private boaters. If your're really interested, you might want to contact the CG Marine Safety Office in Anchorage (or maybe Valdez?). I'm sure they'd be happy to talk to you about it.


    • #3
      Good question! I heard something about commercial fisherman under contract to be ready and mobile within six hours after a major spill to help with the efforts? A blurb on the news or something about this stuff, anyone know more or what is up about that???


      • #4
        International Bird Rescue & Rehabilitation Center

        IBRRC in Calif did alot of the coordination for rescue efforts during the Exxon Valdez incident. They have a field office in Anchorage called the Alaska Wildlife Response Center. I'm trying to find out if they maintain a list of volunteers with boats etc here in AK who would be willing to help. We live here in AK and have a vested interest in trying to save our own critters if we can. I know quite a few guys who would be in their boat in a minute if they knew they could help make a difference. I guess I just need to find out how and who would head it up. :confused:


        • #5

          The answer is yes. (And with current technology, it is a very remote "if", not a "when")

          The controlling agency is the Ship Escort Response Vessel System run by the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company out of Valdez. They have vessels in every fishing port from Cordova to Kodiak already under contract to respond. All spill equipment is prepositioned throughout the PWS and CI regions. They conduct training and drills at least twice a year with all the vessels under contract. They do still accept applications to join the program if you meet the vessel requirements. The SERVS fishing vessel coordinator can be reached at 834-6727. You can also read more about SERVS at the following website and in the attached pdf brochure.

          Last edited by JOAT; 08-27-2009, 09:27.
          Winter is Coming...

          Go GeocacheAlaska!


          • #6
            Opens Wounds

            That tanker sat on Bligh Reef for 3 days while Exxon turned away volunteers and looked for their own (non existant) equipment. What a joke.


            Sorry, did not mean to segway the topic of spill response.
            We never really grow up, we only learn
            how to act in public


            • #7

              I am on the core fleet for SERVS. Whittier, Valdez, and Cordova all have trained fleets. Core fleet vessels have to be in the water and ready to go in case of a spill. There is boom etc at all the hatcheries. Sadly, the SERVS budget was cut by a third last summer.


              • #8
                Discouraging, sorry I brought it up

                Sounds like we're back where we started. Cut the budget scratch the plans because theres no money to support them. We'll throw SERV's out there as an empty unfunded plan and pray. Another words we'll fumble around in the dark pointing fingers just like before. Let it happen and litigate later. Arghhh!!!
                Just wanted to be part of a solution....


                • #9
                  It's not that bad. The equipment that they have is top of the line. We train on the equipment twice a year. If you are ever in Main Bay, check out the 10 or so connexes which are filled with spill response equip. Every hatchery in the sound has them. Work boats like the Crystal Sea also have spill connexes on board (contracted by SERVS) at all times. The massive 500-2 spill response barge is always out there ready to respond along with the tug Endurance. Many highly trained people are full time staff of SERVS and stationed on the barge or in Valdez. There was a spill last summer and the fleet was ON IT fast and efficiently.
                  Nothing against the CG aux, but they are "patrolling" on calm weekends in the summer. They do a great job at what they do.


                  • #10

                    Originally posted by akpowrider View Post
                    Nothing against the CG aux, but they are "patrolling" on calm weekends in the summer. They do a great job at what they do.
                    What are you implying here? I'm kinda slow on the uptake.
                    We never really grow up, we only learn
                    how to act in public


                    • #11
                      Me too. I meant no harm...someone earlier in the thread mentioned about the aux taking care of spills. Commercial boats are in the water 12 months per year. Most pleasure craft (aux) are in for three months. Commercial vessels have the displacement and deck space for power packs (sometimes 5000 lbs), skimmers etc. The large booms and power blocks on seiners are well suited to handling the equip.
                      Like I said, the aux does a great job out there.


                      • #12
                        Makes sense

                        It sounds like the SERV folks are ready and using the right heavy equipment for the big job.
                        I'm after who's handling the small job (in scale) of bird, sea life rescue. Our pleasure boats like my 26 footer with 2 zodiacs would be perfect for rounding up a oil soaked birds and getting them to help while the big guys (SERV) work on the spill. Like killing multiple birds with one stone (bad pun). It just seems there will be more than just the spill clean up. The bird rescue stuff in smaller more manueverable boats is where guys at my level can do something useful instead of watching on the news saying "what a shame". Thats the level of volunteering, planning, etc I'm wondering about.


                        • #13
                          It's a different world Donald!

                          All these years latter weve got plenty of techno goodies, plenty of man power and plenty of training. We also have plenty of regulators who will not look favorably on some cowboy mucking about in the name of saving a duck out in the sound all by himself!
                          Anyone with prior experience will stress the importance of orderly methodical procedure following.

                          Re-read the earlier post's laced with wisdom and understanding and hopefully you'll have some peace of mind at that point.

                          Rest assured, the chaotic "run for the gold" that took place years ago will never happen again! Too many do gooders bent on quick cash caused more problems than they solved.


                          • #14
                            You might want to contact these folks. My guess is that they'll be able to fill you in on opportunities for the sort of volunteer work you seem to be interested in.




                            • #15
                              Spill drill

                              I'll be doing a spill drill in three weeks. My understanding is, if there's another spill and you want to be hired, you need to take this training and be involved in the program to get on. There's a lot to consider besides getting any fuel cleaned up. We take two days in the classroom and one on the water usually. Safety is the big emphasis, from wearing the proper protective equiptment, proper strapping and crane handling technique, proper testing of an area to make sure there's nothing hazardous before you enter, and first aid techniques. We also drill on proper chain of command and radio protocols and how to handle all the different equipment. You get all kinds of certifications including hazwopper cards and first aid cards.
                              An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
                              - Jef Mallett


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