[StBernard] Forty-five Barrels of Oil/Water Mix Recovered Inside of Chandeleur Islands

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Tue Jun 29 08:41:59 EDT 2010

Forty-five Barrels of Oil/Water Mix Recovered Inside of Chandeleur Islands

Incident Commander Captain Laferriere is Briefed on St. Bernard Operations

Several streamers of emulsified oil were identified in Division One of St.
Bernard Parish waters yesterday afternoon by flight operations personnel and
members of Unified Command. The affected area was located on the leeward
side of the northern tip of the Chandeluer Islands. Two near-shore skimming
vessels (St. Bernard commercial fleet vessels fitted with brush skimming
systems) were dispatched to recover this oil and successfully skimmed and
recovered 40 barrels of oil/water mix.

The organization involved in fitting St. Bernard Commercial Fleet vessels
with this skimming system, and training the fishermen on its use is Alaska
Clean Seas. Alaska Clean Seas (ACS) is the Oil Spill Removal Organization
responsible for spill response and environmental activities on the North
Slope of Alaska, Prudhoe Bay Alaska, and the first 167 miles of the
Trans-Alaska Pipeline. ACS stepped up when hearing of the oil disaster in
the Gulf, and have been on site in St. Bernard Parish and along the Gulf
Coast to assist in response efforts. Over the past month, ACS crews have
been installing response equipment to Commercial Fishing Fleets vessels and
conducting training with the local fishermen on containment and recovery
operations. This was put to the test yesterday for the first time in St.
Bernard, and the local fishermen involved came through for their parish and
community by accomplishing what they were tasked to do in recovering this
oil. These fisherman were commended for their work.

"I am impressed and thankful for the efforts put forth by the St. Bernard
fishermen to save our coast and way of life," St. Bernard Parish President
Craig Taffaro said of this oil response milestone. "They did exactly what
they were trained to do proficiently and in a manner that represents the
work ethic and heart that this parish is known for. I commend their efforts
and appreciate all they are doing and sacrificing to help our parish and

"It is quite something to see a shrimp or oyster boat go from its intended
service to a modified oil response resource. These fishermen can fish, and
be called on as a resource to recover oil for this response," Alaska Clean
Seas Bill Jeffries said of these skimming efforts today.

Additionally, St. Bernard Parish requested a Fast Response Vessel be
dispatched to the area to attempt to recover this oil. Fast Response Vessels
(FRVs) are designed to perform offshore skimming operations and have a
larger storage capacity. The FRV "Timbalier Bay" was able to deploy to the
area of concern yesterday, and recovered five barrels of oil/water mix.

Members of Unified Command were able to utilize Louisiana National Guard air
assets today to conduct reconnaissance operations. Oil Sheen was visible in
some areas of St. Bernard Parish waters. Due to inclement weather this
afternoon and into the evening, operations personnel have not been able to
confirm any reports of oil. Reconnaissance will continue as soon as weather

Incident Commander U.S. Coast Guard Captain Roger Laferriere arrived on site
today at St. Bernard Oil Spill operations in Hopedale. The Captain was
briefed on recent oil sightings and response, boom strategies, weather
tracking capabilities, structure of operations and the hurricane response

"You guys have obviously done a lot of great planning here and were prepared
for this oil to come ashore," Captain Laferriere said after the briefing,
"When the winds were heading back east, I remember sending the emails out
that this was our moment of truth. We were all crossing our fingers for
Hopedale to see if you could make a difference. I hope that you guys can
continue to have the success that you're having, and keep up the good work."

For more information, contact Jennifer Belsom, Oil Disaster Public
Information Officer at 504-444-6249 or jbelsom at sbpg.net or Lenor Duplessis,
Executive Assistant to the St. Bernard President at 504-874-0894 or
luplessis at sbpg.net.

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