Incident Responses for October 2021

Posted Fri, 11/12/2021 - 18:12

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 16 incidents in October, including oil discharges, grounded vessels, and other pollution-related incidents.  

Here are some of October's notable incidents:

NOAA Supporting Oil Spill Near Huntington Beach, California

At 8:40 a.m. local time on Oct. 2, 2021, the U.S. Coast Guard contacted NOAA regarding an unknown sheen in the waters off Huntington Beach, California. Roughly 45 minutes later, NOAA captured satellite imagery that became the basis for a Marine Pollution Surveillance Report, issued the same day by the Satellite Analysis Branch of NESDIS (NOAA Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service). The report showed oil slicks extending for more than 30 miles along the coast. A Unified Command was set up to direct spill response efforts. 

Read more about NOAA’s support to this incident in our latest update

Sailing Vessel Runs Aground Near Nedonna Beach, Oregon

On Oct. 4, the U.S. Coast Guard notified NOAA that a 42-foot sailing vessel was aground on Nedonna Beach, Oregon. The Coast Guard went on scene and conducted an overflight. They requested phone support to identify sensitive wildlife areas near the grounded vessel. 

The fuel tanks from the vessel were recovered and no sheen was reported. The vessel was salvaged on Nov. 1. 

Oil Sheen Reported Near Abandoned Oil Platform Off the Texas Coast

On Oct. 7, the Coast Guard contacted NOAA to request satellite imagery of an abandoned platform discharging oil in High Island Block 10 off the coast of Texas. The platform was dripping oil, creating a rainbow sheen visible during a Coast Guard overflight. No imagery was available for the time of interest, NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service monitored as images came available.

Container Ship Loses Containers Overboard Near Strait of Juan de Fuca in Canadian Waters

On the morning of Oct. 22, NOAA was notified of a container ship approximately 40 miles west of the entrance to the Straits of Juan de Fuca in Washington that lost about 40 containers overboard the previous evening, with a potential for chemicals in the lost containers. The Coast Guard requested trajectory support for the containers.

On Oct. 23, the Canadian Coast Guard evacuated 16 people from the container ship Zim Kingston after a fire broke out in 10 containers. As the incident remains on the Canadian side of the border, the U.S. has not established a Unified Command at this time. NOAA continues to monitor trajectories for impacts south of the border. 

Here is the complete list of last month’s incidents, click on the links to find out more: 

An aerial image of a grounded vessel on a shoreline.
A vessel ran aground off Doughty Point on the northwest corner of Orcas Island, Washington on Oct. 3. The 30-36' private crabbing vessel was hard aground with a potential of approx. 120 gallons gasoline on board.The Coast Guard is working with the vessel owner on a salvage plan. Image credit: Washington State Department of Ecology.

Incident Responses for October 2021

Posted Fri, 11/12/2021 - 18:12

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