Unified Command assesses progress of dispersants in response to oil spill off Galveston coast

HOUSTON — The Unified Command, responding to an oil spill approximately 40 miles southeast of Galveston, assessed the progress of dispersants, Thursday.

On Wednesday, approximately 1,000 gallons of dispersants were applied to the offshore oil spill. On Thursday, two morning overflights were conducted in the area where the dispersants were applied. As a result of the application process, the morning observation overflights noted no visible remnants of oil.

An Air Station Corpus Christi HU-25 Falcon jet crew returning to Corpus Christi Thursday afternoon, reported what appeared to be an area of dispersed oil, approximately 11 miles south of Freeport. The Coast Guard and its interagency partners are currently assessing the situation.

“It appears that the application of dispersants on Wednesday was relatively effective in mitigating the oil spill. We will continue to conduct offshore assessments, and a beach surveillance plan has also been implemented, which entails remaining vigilant in scanning the shoreline for potential oil remnants. The cohesive effort between all parties involved in this response is the direct result of constant training, planning and preparedness for situations such as these,” said Cmdr. Jim Elliott, commanding officer of Marine Safety Unit Galveston.

The 820-foot Liberian-flagged tank ship Krymsk sustained damage to a fuel tank when the 166-foot offshore supply vessel AET Endeavor made contact with the vessel Tuesday night. The two vessels had just completed a planned lightering operation when the incident occurred. Action was taken by the crew of the Krymsk to transfer oil from the damaged fuel tank to a separate undamaged fuel tank. Based on the volume of oil transferred, investigators determined approximately 14,000 gallons of fuel oil was spilled. The Coast Guard continues to investigate the cause of this marine casualty.

The following agencies comprise the Unified Command responding to this oil spill:

  • Coast Guard
  • Texas General Land Office
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Texas Parks and Wildlife
  • O’Brien’s Response Management
  • AET

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