A Community Website by Lopez Island
Started by Mike Sato
Mar 14, 2021
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3
Rescue tug stationed in islands is best bet to avoid oil spills in San Juan - Gulf waters, study says
Mar 14, 2021
With increased vessel traffic around the San Juan Islands, some worry that the risk of oil spills may be rising as well. A new study makes the case that an emergency response tug stationed in the islands would be money well-spent.(Salish Current) 3/12/21
Comment by Dan Post
Mar 19, 2021
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This morning I was at the Anacortes ferry landing catching the 9:25 to Lopez. A tanker went past going into Anacortes and had two tugs with it. One was tethered to the stern of the tanker and the other tug was beside.
Comment by Mike Colyar
Mar 19, 2021
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2
Mar 19, 2021
Lovel,

As you note, and I said in my post, the existing tug arrangement only applies to loaded tankers. And, indeed, they are only part of the problem.
Also, having read all of the attached documents, I feel that they understate the impacts of a significant spill. It's not just money. If the big one happens, it's game over. It will not be livable here.

However, I see only one tactic discussed. The conversation has gone directly from a well organized and much needed analysis to only one suggested solution. I don't doubt the numbers on the cost of the standby tug. But I cannot find any information on how much the existing attending tugs are costing and to whom. And how much it might cost to extend this clearly superior arrangement to non-loaded tankers and large cargo ships.

As Mr. Sternberg points out, these problems have, in the past, evolved in minutes, not hours. A tug waiting at dock even with it's engines warmed and idling cannot get there in time to be of much use in keeping a disabled ship off of the rocks. Also an attending tug can react instantly to a gross crew error similar to the Exon Valdez fiasco.

Perhaps an attending tug might cost far too much. I don't know. Someone knows. This needs to be looked in to. The problem has been well researched. The solution perhaps not so thoroughly.

And thanks for your attention to this issue.
Comment by Lovel Pratt (Friends of the San Juans)
San Juan Island
Mar 19, 2021
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1
Tug escorts for laden tankers are essential. However, tankers are not the only large commercial vessels with accident and oil spill risk. For example, container ships don't have tug escorts and they carry between 1.5 million and 4.5 million gallons of propulsion fuel.
I recommend watching the presentation that's referenced in the Salish Curren ... Read All
Comment by Mike Colyar
Mar 19, 2021
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1
I received this via email from lopezian Keith Sternberg who has considerable expertise and experience having been a tug boat captain in the past. It would seem that there is already a system in effect that uses a tug in attendance to tankers as they transit these waters.
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"The Salish Current article does not menti ... Read All
Comment by Mike Colyar
Mar 16, 2021
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4
Absolutely true.

These waters are full of small boats. Endless possibilities for conflicts. The noise from the tanker props is a major source of problems for the Orcas. All this talk of mitigation and rescue tugs and spill cleanup is just nonsense. once it's done, it's all over.

And just who and whose insurance policy is going to ... Read All
Comment by Nathan Donnelly
Mar 16, 2021
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3
The single best way to prevent oil spills here is to stop the insane practice of shipping it through here in the first place. Tanker traffic in the Salish will increase by 700% if proposed pipelines (mentioned in the article) are built! The Salish Sea has been described as the most complicated waterway on Earth, we don't need to be weaving tankers throu ... Read All
Comment by Ben, Jenn June & Nico Greenberg
Mar 14, 2021
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0
I believe this is a no brainer! The writings on the wall. I'm personally astonished there's not an ERTV near by. There should be 2. A back up and or team effort between πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ and πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ. Also in my humble opinion hundreds of thousands spent on the research for this project could have been put toward these vessels.