Every month our Emergency Response Division provides scientific expertise and services to the U.S. Coast Guard on everything from running oil spill trajectories to model where the spill may spread, to possible effects on wildlife and fisheries and estimates on how long the oil may stay in the environment.
This month OR&R responded to 13 incidents, including oil discharges, sunken vessels, and other pollution-related incidents.
Here are some of May's notable incidents:
On May 7, a Navy vessel reportedly released about 2,000-4,000 gallons of diesel fuel into the York River at Gloucester Point, Virginia.
The Navy contracted a vacuum truck to collect the recoverable product — approximately 1,000 gallons — and 30 Navy personnel conducted cleanup operations. Sorbent was placed around the spill to prevent further spread, and no shoreline impacts were observed.
NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard went on scene to assess the situation, and the cause of the incident remains under investigation.
On May 7, a 53-foot commercial fishing vessel ran hard aground on the south side of a jetty in Barnegat Inlet, New Jersey. The Bay of Isle was carrying 500 gallons of oil on board at the time of the incident.
The U.S. Coast Guard rescued two people safely from the vessel. The Coast Guard requested NOAA provide a trajectory and resources at risk report for any potential oil release.
The vessel was showing significant signs of deterioration, with boards and debris continuously breaking apart from the vessel. The wheelhouse had completely separated from the vessel and the stern was splayed apart. No fuel release was observed.
When divers went on board the vessel they discovered no fuel in the tanks, and no signs of release. The Coast Guard and contractors believe the crew ran the vessel out of fuel, which is likely what caused the generator to quit. Any possible release would have been miniscule.
On May 20, a natural gas pipeline was leaking approximately 25 miles south of the Louisiana coast after a fishing vessel net had reportedly caught on the pipeline. The release was not yet secure when the U.S. Coast Guard contacted NOAA for assistance with fate and trajectory of the leaked product.
A light sheen, roughly half a mile to a mile, was reported to be heading south and there appeared to be a slight amount of emulsification. Shoreline impact is not anticipated due to the high evaporation rate of natural gas condensate and the reported direction of the sheen.
Here is the complete list of last month’s incidents, click on the links to find out more:
- Main Pass 75 Pipeline Release
- FV MACH III
- Navy Vessel Diesel Spill, York River, VA
- Fishing Vessel "Bay of Isle" Aground, Barnegat Inlet, NJ
- Tug "Lucedale" Mile Marker 279 Ohio River
- Whale carcass
- Saginaw River Flooding
- S/V FREEDOM adrift
- Gray whale carcass
- Natural Gas Line Leak Vermilion 114/129
- F/V ARIANA MARIE
- Un-Manned Rocket Failure
- Whitney Oil South Pass Platform Leak