Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
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22 Proceedings Spring 2015 www.uscg.mil/proceedings The 1970s���� by Mr. Peter A. Brunk When I frst came aboard the strike team, I had no idea what would be involved. I met Atlantic Strike Team (AST) per- sonnel previously, while serving as USCGC Sledge's com- manding offcer. At the time, we used their divers to recover submerged pilings at a lighthouse in Roanoke Sound, North Carolina. Most of AST's equipment was excess Army and Navy property — boats, motors, cranes, and trucks — then later, as the strike teams did more jobs, they were able to get better equipment. In August 1975, I reported to the Atlantic Strike Team. The teams had just returned from two major oil spill responses: • the tanker Metula, in the Straits of Magellan off Chile, in August 1974; • the tanker Showa Maru, in Straits of Malacca between Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore, in January 1975. Both ships were VLCCs (very large crude carriers) and both spills resulted from groundings. In each case, the strike teams used an air-deliverable anti-pollution transfer sys- tem (ADAPTS) for pumping operations. Unlike other gear, the Coast Guard developed the ADAPTS, which consisted of pumping systems, towable storage tanks, and a high- seas barrier. Each system could be delivered by parachute in winds up to 40 knots with 10- to 12-foot seas. First Response I went on my frst major spill near my hometown in Bal- timore, Maryland, just two weeks after reporting in. Dur- ing a fuel transfer operation, approximately 250,000 gallons of No. 6 oil spilled into in the harbor. We were there for 30 days, recovering product. Four Decades of Response Four NSF team members recall their experiences. by Mr. Peter A. BrunK IMS Environmental Mr. Miguel l. BellA U. S. Coast Guard National Pollution Funds Center Mr. MArK g. gregory U.S. Coast Guard District 11 DRAT Equipment Specialist dc1 Ken W. Bond Response Supervisor U.S. Coast Guard Gulf Strike Team History and Heritage EM2 John Bishop and CWO Peter Brunk return to the command post after pulling oil containment boom. U.S. Coast Guard photo. The Edmund Fitzgerald In November 1975, the AST executive offcer and I left Eliza- beth City, North Carolina, in 74-degree Fahrenheit weather and arrived in Sault Ste. Marie, on the U.S. and Canadian border, in 17-degree Fahrenheit snowy conditions. As an ore ship followed the Edmund Fitzgerald, it disappeared from radar. I went aboard a Navy airplane to look for the wreck. Dur- ing the frst pass over the ship's last known position, we received a contact with a magnetic anomaly detector and, after another pass, I noticed a small sheen. The ship had a diesel bow thruster. We marked it and then went back to Sault Ste. Marie, where the crew's families were waiting. Later, aboard the CGC