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Press Release | Sept. 13, 2023

Coast Guard, Navy conduct pollution response exercises near Seward, Alaska

JUNEAU, Alaska — The U.S. Coast Guard conducted joint pollution response exercises with the U.S. Navy Supervisor of Salvage and Diving near Seward, Aug. 30.

Involved in the exercise evolutions were:

  • Coast Guard Cutter Cypress (WLB 210)
  • Navy Supervisor of Salvage and Diving
  • Coast Guard Sector Anchorage
  • Coast Guard District 17 Response Advisory Team

Together, these assets conducted coordinated pollution response evolutions including equipment deployments, tactics and communications.

“Having the opportunity for the crew to learn the importance of our role in responding to oil spills, and being able to physically practice a simulated response with our partners was extremely valuable,” said Lt. Cmdr. James Toohey, commanding officer of the Cypress. “Teamwork is essential to enact quick and seamless responses to these types of maritime emergencies, and it’s our responsibility to ensure we are trained and prepared for the mission when called upon.”

The equipment deployed during the exercise was designed to be towed next to a vessel and use its movement and wave motion to pool spilled oil into a single location so it can be recovered by a skimming device and moved to a secondary containment tank.

This exercise contributed to an overall program designed to ensure Alaskan federal agencies are dedicated and able to protect Alaska’s maritime resources and industries with minimal delay.

“The successful deployment of the oil recovery system highlighted the true multi-mission nature of the Coast Guard,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ben McIntyre-Coble, deputy chief of Coast Guard District Seventeen’s office of incident management. “Using a buoy tender like the Cypress to respond to this simulated oil spill increased collaboration between the Coast Guard’s prevention and response missions, and also demonstrated our commitment to responding to environmental threats in our areas of responsibility.”