Coast Guard to deploy vessel of opportunity oil skimming system during training exercise in San Juan Bay

Coast Guard District 7 NewsSan Juan, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard Sector San Juan pollution response personnel will deploy a Vessel of Opportunity Skimming System (VOSS) out of Coast Guard Base San Juan Wednesday afternoon, during a pollution response training exercise in San Juan Bay, Puerto Rico.

“This VOSS deployment will be a training exercise and not a response to real emergency,” said Lt. Kristen Preble, Sector San Juan Incident Management Division chief. “Coast Guard pollution responders at Sector San Juan deploy the VOSS equipment every year to maintain their proficiency in responding to a real oil spill in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands that requires the use of oil skimming equipment.”

The day-long training instruction will be delivered by four members of the Atlantic Strike Force from Fort Dix, N.J.

The VOSS is a self contained portable oil skimming and storage system capable of being attached quickly to a wide variety of Coast Guard and commercial vessels. Once the VOSS is deployed, it is capable of collecting spilled oil from inside boom installed on the side of the vessel and pumped into an inflatable barge that can store up to 26,000 gallons.

The Coast Guard’s VOSS equipment is strategically pre-positioned at several locations across the U.S. and Puerto Rico is one of those locations. The VOSS may also be transported to a spill site on a single truck or aboard a Coast Guard HC-130 aircraft.

Although the petroleum industry has the primary responsibility for maintaining oil spill response equipment, the VOSS increases the Coast Guard’s initial response capabilities.

In Wednesday’s training exercise, pollution response personnel will be deploying the VOSS onto the Tug Boat Marrianne McAllister from McAllister Towing.

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