Coast Guard conducts oil cleanup exercise in Dutch Harbor

17th Coast Guard District NewsANCHORAGE, Alaska – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Hickory crew demonstrated the cutter’s Spilled Oil Recovery System in Dutch Harbor to showcase its pollution response capabilities for the Coast Guard’s Aleutian maritime partners Tuesday.

The demonstration coincided with the Hickory’s annual oil spill response training and tested the crew’s proficiency at operating the SORS equipment.

“Buoy tenders like the Hickory provide the Coast Guard with a wide range of capabilities,” said Capt. Adam Shaw, 17th Coast Guard District chief of prevention. “The ships can operate in mild ice conditions, conduct essential maintenance to navigational aids, search and rescue, law enforcement and maritime pollution response missions. Having this diverse ability to respond helps the Coast Guard ensure the maritime safety of Alaska’s mariners and environment”

SORS is an over-the-side, single ship recovery system, designed to be used on a Coast Guard Buoy Tender for response to a maritime environmental emergency.

“With continued interest in maritime operations expanding into the Bearing Sea and the Arctic, it is crucial that our crews gain experience deploying SORS in many locations across the state,” said Lt. Cmdr. Maeve Keogh, 17th Coast Guard District’s assistant chief of incident management.

The Hickory is homeported in Homer and is one of four 225-foot buoy tenders in Alaska that carry the pollution recovery system on board.

For more information about the Coast Guard SORS program, please visit http://www.uscg.mil/hq/nsfweb/nsf/nsfcc/ops/ResponseSupport/Equipment/sorsindex.asp

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