Proceedings Of The Marine

SPR 2015

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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27 Spring 2015 Proceedings Endnotes: 1. Flexible containers used to store/transport liquid. The 2000s���� by DC1 Ken W. Bond In 2000, I received orders to report to the Atlantic Strike Team (AST). I had no science background, knew nothing about environmental work, and thought response was about stopping a boat from sinking. My frst year or so at the AST consisted of education and a variety of EPA Superfund cleanup site visits. These deploy- ments varied in their assignments, from making Level B hazmat entries into burned-out warehouses to gauging rail cars. 9/11 Everything changed on the morning of September 11, 2001. I was in Level C personal protective equipment, sampling an acid tank at an abandoned leather tannery in upstate New York, when I heard that an airplane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City. Two days later, I was standing on top of the Staten Island Landfll at Fresh Kills, New York. My assignment there was to develop a worker safety and air monitoring plan for the sorting operations underway to recover human remains from the debris being removed from ground zero. Flooding In March 1995, the strike force responded to major flooding in Monterey, California. We used National Guard helicopters to fnd orphaned drums, cylinders, and tanks, which we would collect and bulk the wastes for disposal. We also responded to major food- ing in the St. Mary's, Idaho, area in early 1996. Once again, we used National Guard helicopters to fnd orphaned drums, cylinders, and tanks. We pulled oil tanks and drums out of trees and back yards. In March 1996, we responded to a mystery bird kill in St. Paul, Alaska. We arrived at the Loran station to capture oiled birds, clean them, and take care of the ones that did not survive. The oil came from a passing vessel (later caught in a foreign port). While in Alaska, our mission changed, when a fshing ves- sel ran aground in the middle of the night. We borrowed pumps, hoses, and a tank truck from the locals; built a high- line system; and were able to pump enough fuel off the ves- sel to make it light enough to be towed free. Transitions I left the strike team in 1996 to go to the CGC Cowslip; and, in 1999, I was home sweet strike team home again. Later that year, we responded to a large tire fre in California and provided air monitoring, communications, oil recovery, and all the other things the strike team does on any site. The year ended for me in Pago Pago, American Samoa. During a hurricane in 1991, multiple vessels grounded and although most of the hazards had been removed, now they had started leaking again. We provided support in remov- ing oil and anhydrous ammonia from the grounded vessels. We swam to work every day; and, by the end of the job, we were all great swimmers and experts in diaphragm pumps. In the middle of all these jobs, we found time to learn and then teach the Incident Command System, oil spill and hazmat response, and conduct VOSS, SORS, and lightering drills. I left the team in 2002 and then came back in 2006, as the engineering offcer — not bad for a boatswains mate. About the author: Mr. Mark Gregory retired from the U.S. Coast Guard in 2013 after 27 years. He continues to work in the emergency response industry. Pacifc Strike Team and Gulf Strike Team members gather for a picture after completing a successful response, July 1991. U.S. Coast Guard photo by MK1 Fred Valadez.

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