“Tender of the Lost Coast” returns home from Deepwater Horizon mission

The Coast Guard Cutter Aspen steams toward Alcatraz Island, June 3, 2010, deploying to the Gulf of Mexico to provide clean up and operational support for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

San Francisco — The San Francisco-based Coast Guard Cutter Aspen and its crew are scheduled to return Friday, Nov. 12 from the Gulf of Mexico following a five-month deployment in support of Deepwater Horizon Response.

The cutter also recently responded to the cruise ship Carnival Splendor disabled due to a onboard ship fire off the Mexican coast Nov. 8.

The Aspen and its crew left for the Gulf where they conducted oil skimming missions and helped direct operations between the Mississippi Delta and Panama City, Fla., collecting 137,800 gallons of oil during the response. The Aspen recently dry docked in Tampa, Fla. to undergo oil decontamination before transiting through the Panama Canal enroute to the Pacific Ocean.

Equipped with a Spilled Oil Recovery System, the Aspen is specially designed for Coast Guard vessels of its class. The system consists of a fast sweep boom extended over the side of the hull by an outrigger arm, and a weir skimmer that moves the oil collected in the boom onto shipboard storage tanks or a barge alongside the cutter.  The cutter deployed this system in its first extensive operational use for the Gulf operations.
The Aspen’s motto is “Tender of the Lost Coast.”

Family, friends and well-wishers are expected to welcome the Aspen’s crew back for a festive homecoming.

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