Coast Guard to conduct pollution response exercise Thursday

Coast Guard 8th District NewsPEORIA, Ill. – The Coast Guard is scheduled to conduct a pollution response exercise in Lake Peoria from 8:30 a.m., to 12:30 p.m., Thursday.

Members participating are Sector Upper Mississippi River and the Coast Guard Cutter Sangamon.

The exercise is aimed at testing and improving the Coast Guard’s ability to assemble, deploy and operate a Vessel of Opportunity Skimming System. A VOSS is used to recover oil from the water after a spill using local vessels and is designed to be transported to a spill site and convert a vessel, 60-feet or longer, into an oil recovery vessel. The Sangamon will be used as the local vessel of opportunity for this exercise.

The Coast Guard has 19 VOSS systems pre-positioned nationwide for pollution response. The Sector Upper Mississippi River VOSS is centrally stored in trailers in St. Louis for rapid deployment along with 5,000 feet of foam-filled oil spill deployable boom.

Each VOSS consists of two of the following:

  • Outrigger assembly with lifting davit;
  • Sweep boom to collect the spilled substance;
  • A DESMI 250 floating weir skimmer with diesel-driven hydraulic prime mover and control stand/air compressor to recover the substance;
  • Submersible off-loading pump;
  • Portable inflatable barge, 26,000 gallons to store the substance.

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