Council study to look at extreme weather at Hinchinbrook Entrance

The Council is beginning a project to better define weather at the Hinchinbrook Entrance to Prince William Sound, Alaska. Wind and wave conditions affect the transit of oil-laden tankers through Hinchinbrook Entrance, and can impact an oil spill response. This project will look at wind speed and wave height in particular, as they most affect escort tugs attempting to rescue a stricken tanker at Hinchinbrook Entrance. Additionally, the study will look at navigability for oil spill response vessels and the probability of the concurrent occurrence of darkness, freezing temperature, rain, snow, fog (low visibility), and sea spray icing conditions. The Council hopes to answer two questions from this research: How often do extreme events and/or closure conditions (winds at 45 knots or seas exceeding 15 feet at Seal Rocks) occur at Hinchinbrook Entrance? How well does the definition or identification of a closure condition reflect the conditions actually experienced by vessels? … Continue reading

Planning for marine services changeover under way

The changeover for the marine services contract for Alyeska is underway. By July of 2018, Edison Chouest Offshore, or ECO, of Louisiana will replace Crowley Marine Services for prevention and response services in Prince William Sound. Crowley Marine Services has held the contract since the creation of Alyeska’s Ship Escort/Response Vessel System after the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Changeover planning Most of the current activity involves planning for the change. Even though the new vessels will not be arriving in Alaska until next year, ECO will be hiring personnel this year to begin training. … Continue reading

Report identifies concerns with tanker escort tugs being built for service in Prince William Sound

The council has identified some areas of concern with the design of the new escort and general purpose tugs under construction by Edison Chouest Offshore for use in Prince William Sound. These concerns and recommendations result from a council-commissioned analysis of the tugs by Robert Allan Ltd., a naval architecture and marine engineering company. Edison Chouest Offshore is taking over the marine services contract for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company in the summer of 2018. Crowley Maritime has held the contract since the creation of Alyeska’s Ship Escort/Response Vessel System after the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The services provided under this contract include escort tugs, general purpose tugs, oil recovery storage barges, and associated personnel, all of which are key oil spill prevention and response assets for the Valdez Marine Terminal and associated oil tankers operating in Prince William Sound. Robert Allan Ltd. was contracted by the council to review and evaluate drawings and other vessel design materials provided by Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. This review includes information that was provided to the council as of December 14, 2016. … Continue reading

Marine Firefighting Symposium coming to Homer in May 2017

Update 2/9/17: Registration is now open! See Marine Firefighting Symposium 2017 for more. The ninth Marine Firefighting Symposium for Land-Based Firefighters is scheduled for May 12-14, 2017 in Homer, Alaska. The council is co-hosting this event with our sister organization, the Cook Inlet Regional Citizen’s Advisory Council. This three-day conference is an industry recognized effort to provide the best available marine firefighting information and practices to shore-based firefighters, using both classroom and field experiences. The council is pleased to have its nationally renowned training cadre of John Lewis, John Taylor, Don Ryan and Ron Raschio, led by Jeff Johnson, returning to the Symposium. Several of these instructors provided input and material for the land-based shipboard firefighting manual produced by the International Fire Service Training Association. Firefighters and industry participants consistently provide positive comments on the events. The council is able to offer this training at no cost for participants. More information: Marine Firefighting Symposium 2017 … Continue reading