Coast Guard and Charleston industry to practice pollution recovery

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Coast Guard and industry partners will conduct a pollution-recovery exercise on the Cooper River Thursday at 9 a.m.

Coast Guard Sector Charleston, Moran Towing and Moran Environmental Recovery will deploy and use the Coast Guard’s Vessel of Opportunity Skimming System near the Veteran’s Terminal in North Charleston. The VOSS equipment is a modern, high performance, single-ship recovery system, designed to be used on wide variety of vessels for response to an environmental emergency.

For the safety of all mariners the Captain of the Port urges mariners to use extreme caution and follow inland navigation rules when transiting in the vicinity of the tug and VOSS equipment. Once the VOSS equipment is deployed, the tug will be restricted in its ability to maneuver while underway. Additionally, there will be three Coast Guard Auxiliary vessels assisting with the VOSS exercise while transiting.

The Coast Guard has 19 of these systems pre-positioned nationwide for pollution response. Once on scene of an environmental emergency, the system is able to begin recovering oil in less than one hour. Charleston houses the area’s VOSS equipment along with an additional 9,000 feet of foam-filled boom.

Each VOSS consists of two of each of the following:

  • Outrigger assembly with lifting davit
  • Sweep boom to collect the spilled substance
  • 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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