Coast Guard conducts pollution response drill in Galveston Bay

HOUSTON – Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Galveston, with the assistance of Coast Guard Buoy Tender Harry Claiborne, conducted a pollution response drill using the Vessel of Opportunity Skimming System (VOSS) in Galveston Bay, Texas, today.

When properly deployed on a ship, the VOSS equipment uses a large strip of containment boom to collect oil into an area directly beside the ship, where a skimmer can be lowered to draw the oil into collection tanks on board. The Harry Claiborne acted as the deploying ship for the drill today.

The Coast Guard’s VOSS equipment is strategically pre-positioned at several locations across the country and may be transported to a spill site on a single truck or by Coast Guard C-130 aircraft. The mobile equipment is totally self-contained and capable of being used quickly and effectively aboard any available vessel.

The use of the VOSS equipment is not intended to relieve the responsible company or individual, but is intended to be used until adequate private sector equipment and personnel are deployed. Deployment and use of the VOSS equipment rests solely with the Coast Guard federal on-scene coordinator.

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