BOSTON — The Coast Guard Research and Development Center, located in New London, Connecticut, and the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Juniper worked throughout the week to demonstrate and evaluate new technologies to use when responding to oil spills in harsh cold weather environments.
The technologies include a prototype ice cage to keep ice away from an oil skimmer as it collects spilled oil from the water’s surface, a temporary storage device for collected oil that can be mounted on the deck of a vessel, and methods to decontaminate personnel who have been working in an oiled environment.
“The lessons we’ve demonstrated here and in the other tests clearly illustrate the feasibility of using technology to solve the issues surrounding oil spill cleanup in ice conditions,” said Kurt Hansen, a project manager at the Coast Guard Research and Development Center. “The ice cage, for instance, has been shown to be a valuable tool for keeping ice away from oil skimmers, keeping their brushes clear and working more efficiently.”
He added that the devices being demonstrated expand the Coast Guard’s ability to react to an oil spill.
The demonstration will contribute to knowledge about responding to oil spills in cold environments such as New England, the Great Lakes, or Alaska. This demonstration builds on knowledge gained from previous oil spill response technology demonstrations in Alaska and the Great Lakes.