U.S. sends oil spill experts, equipment, to Galapagos Islands
The U. S. is sending oil spill control equipment, and pollution response experts from two agencies to the Galapagos Islands to assist in the response to an oil spill from a grounded tanker. The coastal tanker Jessica ran aground off the Galapagos Islands earlier this week and began leaking oil yesterday. The Ecuadorian government requested the assistance through the U. S. State Department.
Ten members of the Coast Guard's pollution response National Strike Force along with specialized oil spill equipment such as high capacity pumps and inflatable oil containment barges are on their way to the scene aboard a Coast Guard C-130 aircraft. The response team's main focus is to remove oil from the ship and provide advice on response and cleanup. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) oil spill scientific support coordinator (SSC) is also with the response team. NOAA SSC's can assist with all scientific aspects of oil spill response including spill trajectory forecasts and environmental impact assessments.
The Coast Guard equipment and response team are from the National Strike Force's Gulf Strike Team located in Mobile, Alabama. They and the NOAA scientific support coordinator departed from Mobile at noon (Eastern time) aboard a Coast Guard C-130 aircraft. The team is expected to be in the area of the spill tomorrow.
NEWS MEDIA: For background information on the Coast Guard National Strike Force contact: Dan Dewell, U. S. Coast Guard, 202 267-2304, cel 202 493-9821, or see the NSF web site http://www.uscg.mil/hq/nsfcc/nsfweb
For background information on NOAA's role in oil spill response contact
Connie Barclay, 301-713-3070, Ext. 178