Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Posts Tagged ‘Coast Guard’

April 28, 2010

Coast Guard to set fire to gulf oil spill

As oil drifts toward land, the U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday that it will set fire to an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The “controlled burn” would involve setting fire to an area of oil trapped by special containment booms on the ocean’s surface.

About 1,000 barrels (42,000 US gallons) of crude are leaking every day after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank last week. At least 11 of the rig’s workers are still missing and presumed dead 50 miles off the Louisiana coast.

Officials estimate the oil slick has a circumference of about 600 miles (about 970 kilometers), though the shape of the spill area is very irregular. The spill is big enough to be seen from space.

IBRRC is still on alert for the spill and is ready to lend a hand.

The bird rescue group has nearly 40 years of experience in working on oil spills. In 1989 a response crew spent 6 months in Alaska working on bird collection and care in the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez spill in Prince William Sound. That spill dumped 11 million gallons of oil into the fragile waters and killed hundred of thousands of birds and mammals.

Also see:

Looming Disaster? Gulf Oil Spill FAQ: Live Science

(U.S. Coast Guard photo of Deepwater Horizon drilling platform before it sank)

October 31, 2009

Coast Guard plane crash same used in bird flight

We have some really sad news to report tonight. The U.S. Coast Guard C-130 that crashed in waters off San Diego Thursday evening is the same aircraft that was used in the mission earlier this week to transport 305 slimed birds from Oregon bound to IBRRC’s Northern California rescue center.

According to a KCRA-TV media report, one of the Sacramento-based Coast Guard crewmembers that helped in the Monday rescue effort was involved in Thursday’s 7 PM crash. The C-130 collided with a Marine Corps helicopter while both searching for a lost boater about 50 miles off the San Diego County coast and 15 miles east of San Clemente Island.

As of tonight no survivors have been found. Seven Coast Guard crewmembers were on the C-130 and two were in the AH-1 Cobra helicopter.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the crewmembers families and their fellow Guardians.

Read the KCRA story

May 26, 2008

Good suggestions in final Cosco Busan spill report

The second and final report on the response Cosco Busan oil spill was released this month and there’s some very good recommendations on how to better coordinate wildlife responders in the event of another spill.

The recommendations included:

– Deploying more trained Search and Collection teams in a timely manner.

– Better communication between S&C teams and with supervisors.

– Improving security and enforcement in public areas where large numbers of oiled birds in distress are in need of collection. (Many oiled animals were scarred by out-to-lunch Joe Q. Public types walking dogs, running on beaches in sensitive areas where cold, tired and oiled birds beached themselves).

Also, the Oiled Wildlife Care Network’s (OWCN) Hotwash, a post spill meeting to shed light on the ups and downs of the response, provided a list of equipment that all Search and Collection teams need in the future. This included: maps, binoculars (made for low-visibility conditions), computers for entering data from field; flash lights, batteries, and redundant equipment. Some interviewees indicated that additional types of netting could be helpful in capturing groups of oiled birds.

The November 7, 2007 spill hit San Francisco Bay after the Cosco Busan container ship dumped 54,000 gallons of bunker oil into the waters during prime migratory bird season. The Coast Guard’s response and other state agencies has been under fire for it’s slow reporting efforts and its lackluster efforts to capture distressed birds in a timely fashion.

IBRRC is a long-time OWCN network member and its management and contract employees made many recommendations that were included in the final report.

The report is entitled: Incident Specific Preparedness Review (ISPR), M/V Cosco Busan Oil Spill in San Francisco Bay. PART II AND FINAL REPORT. It was released on May 7, 2008.

Download the full 80 page report here: