Honolulu Based Cutter Walnut to help with Gulf Oil Spill

HONOLULU — The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Walnut is deploying to the Gulf of Mexico to assist in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response today.

The Walnut has the capabilities to deploy Spilled Oil Recovery System to help clean up the largest oil spill the United States has seen since the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989.

“The crew of the Walnut is ready and willing to utilize our oil spill equipment and training to assist the residences of the Gulf Coast in this multiagency response,” said Lt. Andrea Holt, the executive officer of the Walnut. “Even though we will be deploying more than 5,000 miles from our homeport in Honolulu the crew is ready to meet this challenge.”

The Walnut will be deployed for four months.

In addition to its oil skimming equipment, the cutter is well-equipped with satellite, radio and communications equipment that will allow it to direct recovery vessels working with them, from other Coast Guard assets to government and contracted vessels on hand to help clean up the spill.

Coast Guard Cutter Walnut is one of 16 cutters designed with oil skimming capability and one of several responding to the Deepwater Horizon incident. The offshore oil rig exploded on April 20, killing 11 people.

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