Incident Responses for September 2020

Posted Mon, 10/12/2020 - 17:40

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, grounded vessels, and other pollution-related incidents.  

Here are some of September's notable incidents:

Vessel Catches Fires, Runs Aground in St. Clair River, Canada

On. Sept. 3, a vessel reportedly caught fire and ran aground in the St. Clair River near Mooretown, Ontario in Canada. The M/V Windy K was carrying approximately 600 gallons of marine diesel fuel at the time of the incident. 

The U.S. Coast Guard requested trajectory support for any potential release. The Canadian Coast Guard was on scene responding to the incident. 

Hurricane Sally Pollution Response

Hurricane Sally made landfall on the Gulf Coast on Sept. 16, leaving a trail of storm damage in its wake. On Sept. 22, the Coast Guard Sector Mobile transitioned Hurricane Sally response operations to a maritime environmental response—focusing on pollution cleanup and salvage operations. 

According to a Coast Guard press release, Hurricane Sally’s damage was widespread—affecting commercial and recreational vessels and public and private infrastructure across Alabama and Florida. The Coast Guard, with support from NOAA, has responded to hundreds of pollution reports and began oversight of salvage operations.

Coast Guard environmental response teams conducted vessel assessment operations throughout the affected areas.  

“Every vessel assessed will help us determine if it requires immediate action by the Coast Guard and we will continue to work with our state and local partners to address environmental impacts,” said Chief Petty Officer Jeremy Thomas, the federal on-scene coordinator representative for the Sector Mobile Hurricane Sally marine environmental response. “So far, the data collected from these assessments indicates vessel owners are taking responsible actions to recover their vessel or remove pollution threats.” 

The Coast Guard recommends vessel owners hire a salvage company to recover their vessels in order to provide the safest removal method possible for the public and environment.

Containership Leaks Unknown Amount of Oil near Bayonne, New Jersey

On Sept. 28, a containership was reportedly leaking oil from a hole in its hull at the Global Marine Terminal in Bayonne, New Jersey. A Coast Guard boat crew in the area reported a small crack in the ship’s hull, which was leaking fuel oil. 

Oil containment boom and absorbent pads were deployed around the YM Mandate. Contracted skimming vessels worked to remove oil from the water. The affected tank had a capacity of 462,297 gallons and the amount of fuel leaked remains unknown. 

The response concluded on Oct. 4. A dive survey was completed and no additional damage to the vessel was found, according to a Coast Guard press release. The vessel departed to the Port of New York for repairs after the cleaning of the vessel. 

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