31 January 2011

Unified Command works to contain sheen from derelict vessel near Camas, Wash.

News Release

Date: January 31, 2011

Contact: Public Affairs Det. Astoria

(503) 861-6235

News Release: Update 3 –

Unified Command works to contain sheen from derelict vessel near Camas, Wash.

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PORTLAND, Ore. — Federal, state and local agencies, as well as cleanup contractors, continue to work closely together to recover oil and monitor the 431-foot barge, Davy Crockett, near Camas, Wash., on the Columbia River, Monday.

A Unified Command, consisting of Coast Guard, Washington Dept. of Ecology and Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality was established Jan. 27, after Ecology received reports of a light, non-recoverable sheen. Responders traced it back to mile marker 115 on the Columbia River, the site of the Davy Crockett.

Diving operations are on-going and dependent on safety and stability. Cleanup and containment efforts continue on and around the barge.

The exact volume of oil onboard is unknown due to safety and access challenges. The total potential of oil, based on the capacity of all liquid tanks aboard the Davy Crockett, is approximately 953,000 gallons. On water resources consisting of oil recovery barges and skimmer vessels are present at the site. There are additional resources staged and readily available to deploy from shore. The acquisition of additional storage and recovery resources continues in preparation for planned ballasting operations.

Approximately 18,000 feet of sorbent boom and 3,600 feet of hard boom have been deployed to prevent further spread of the oil. A total of 1,450 gallons of oil have been recovered since the beginning of cleanup operations.

“Our primary objectives remain the safety of our on-scene workers, the stabilization of the barge and recovery of oil,” said Ron Holcomb, State On-Scene Coordinator, Washington Dept. of Ecology. “Once stabilizing operations are complete we will continue to assess each tank for oil and respond accordingly.”

A 500-yard safety no-wake zone is still in effect around the Davy Crockett to ensure the safety of the on-scene workers and to prevent further damage to the vessel. Boaters are asked to use caution when transiting the area.

The following information is current as of 3 p.m. Monday:

• 62 members from federal, state and local agencies, as well as industry, are responding

• Approximately 1,450 gallons of oil recovered

• Approximately 18,000 feet of sorbent boom deployed inside and around the vessel

• Approximately 3,600 feet of hard boom deployed around the vessel

• Two barges on-scene to stabilize the stern of the Davy Crocket

• Diving operations are on-going and dependent on the stability of the vessel

Media inquiries, questions or information requests should be referred to Petty Officer Kelly Parker, U.S. Coast Guard Public Affairs, at (206) 437-9482, or Barbara MacGregor, Dept. of Ecology media relations, at (360) 918-1483.

Photo by Lynn Easton

08 January 2011

Soaring With Eagles.

Posted by Jonathan James

Today at the Division Change of Watch Todd Mains was presented with the Eagle Award by MSU Commander, Captain LeBlanc . Here is what Captain LaBlanc had to say about Todd at the Division Change of Watch this afternoon.

"It is with great pleasure that I make the Eagle Award presentation today for the person that has best exhibited the core values of the U.S. Coast Guard and the C.G. Auxiliary, and whose performance as a Division 7 Auxiliarist has stood out as beyond the call of duty for the year 2010. Mr. Todd mains."
The Captain also went on to say, "During his (Todd's) first two years, he acquired qualifications as a Vessel Examiner, Boat Crew, and Coxswain. In July of 2006 he began working in the Sector Portland Command Center as a Communications Controller and served continuously in that capacity until July 2010. He was selected as the Auxiliarist of the Week in February of 2008. In the spring of 2008, he was selected as the Assistant Auxiliary Sector Coordinator, and in 2009 selected and promoted to be the Auxiliary Sector Coordinator. As Auxiliary Sector Coordinator, he had many responsibilities and duties. The formal description of that position as written by CG Headquarters is an Auxiliary Sector Coordinator is the District Commodore's direct representative to the Sector Commander in order to facilitate auxiliary support to support Coast Guard missions, and provide continuity across the tenures of Sector Commanders and District Commodores. That is a nice way of saying that you will solve all Auxiliary issues that come to your attention in order to keep the Sector Commander and the Auxiliary District Commodore extremely happy. Todd served in that high stress position until December 31, 2010, just one week ago. Also during the 2009/2010 time period, Todd managed all Auxiliary Surface Operations including those from Divisions 6, 8, and 11. He helped in the development of the Patrol Order Request and supervision of Auxiliary Facilities outside the Station Portland AOR."

The Captain also high lighted some of Todd's most recent accomplishments by saying "He assisted with the Opening Day Safety Zone patrol, served on the Citizen's Advisory Committee to Multnomah County Marine Patrol. worked as AUXCOM and in the Emergency Command Post for Rose Festival Operations in 2010, assisted Station Portland with Coxswain Qualification Training, assisted the Coast Guard Academy with interviews of potential cadets, aboard his facility- escorted Christmas Ships on the Willamette River, working as a mentor for new members in Flotilla 76. But most impressively to me is that Todd volunteered and deployed to Biloxi, MS in July of 2010 in support of Coast Guard's Operation Deepwater Horizon, which was our response to the massive oil rig blowout and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. While there he supervised Vessels of Opportunity to survey and recover oil. He also developed techniques to modify equipment that was designed to recover oil from the surface in order for it to discover oil under the water's surface.

To conclude the Captain's remarks he made some quick bullet points.

  • Todd has received 31 Auxiliary Awards.
  • Has performed over 9000 RECORDED hours of public service since joining in 2004.
  • Over 2500 hours this year alone.
  • This past Wednesday, I started a new tradition for our monthly all hands formations at MSU Portland - that new tradition being the acknowledgment of two Auxiliarists from Division 7, sort of a 5 minute vignette similar to the TV show "This is Your Life" to give the Active Duty personnel a snapshot of the caliber of personnel that we have working alongside us as Auiliarists. Todd had the pleasure (or displeasure) of being one of the first two test subjects that we called up front and center to be subjected to my imitation of Ralph Edwards.
  • Todd is a graduate of the University of Oregon and probably has some good money on Monday's National College Football Championship game. Go Ducks.
  • And Todd was named by his peers as "Most likely to spend his entire retirement savings on boat repairs."
I would like to say Bravo Zulu to Todd and congratulations on your award.

01 January 2011

Farwell Earl Markham.

Its hard to find a place to start when saying good bye to a friend. I think I speak for everyone when I say it is an honor and a privilege to serve beside you and to have you as a friend. Just because your moving doesn't mean we need to say goodbye though. It just means we have to learn how to share you with another flotilla. Remember Earl, you are our honorary flotilla commander for the next year.

You have in some way or another shaped members in your flotilla, division, and district. You sir are the Coast Guard Core Values of Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty. You have been living these core values for almost 60 years. That is just amazing.

Daren Lewis said in an earlier email.
" As far as I can tell he is the longest serving Auxiliarist in the Nation still holding an active qualification (he holds four - aid verifier, instructor, coxswain and qualification examiner)."

Please post your comments about Earl below. Tell us some memorable moments you have had with Earl, things that he as taught you.

I will start.
When I was going through the crew academy, I was approached by Earl who was an instructor/QE at the academy. He wanted to tell me that I was tying the Clove Hitch the wrong way. Me being the stubborn guy I am I didn't believe him. It took me a while to understand what "I" was doing wrong and Earl just stood there patiently and calmly while I worked on tying that knot. I have to say Earl knows just about everything there is to know about being a crew or coxswain aboard an auxiliary facility and is whiling to teach anyone about anytime. I hope to one day know everything Earl knows about boating.

I would like to also say, don't hesitate blowing that whistle at your new flotilla. I know the flotilla commander will learn to appreciate it.

Sir, I salute you.