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NSFCC | Operations | Response Support Division | Equipment Support Branch

Coast Guard members deploying a SORS Teminator SkimmerThe Equipment Support Branch (ESB) provides national oversight of the preventive maintenance program for Coast Guard oil spill pollution response equipment located at the 3 Strike Teams, 19 District pre-positioned sites (Vessel of Opportunity Oil Skimming System (VOSS)), 1 OSRT training suite at OHMSETT, and spilled oil recovery system (SORS) equipment onboard 16 JUNIPER Class Buoy Tenders (WLBs). The program supports annual preventive maintenance site visits, "quality assurance/ quality control" (QA/QC) activities on newly delivered CG oil spill response equipment systems, repairs made to inoperative response equipment, and refurbishment to equipment deployed during a pollution response case. The primary mechanism used to ensure all Coast Guard environmental emergency response equipment is maintained in a “ready-for-issue” condition is the National Maintenance Contract (NMC).

Coast Guard member attaching hydraulic lines to Fast Sweep Boom Prime MoverHistorically, during actual pollution incident cases, where CG owned response equipment has been deployed, the NMC has provided: logistical support for transporting NSF and District resources to the scene of an environmental incident, technical assistance to Strike Teams regarding equipment system capabilities, and assistance for Strike Teams/DRATs in completing Pollution Removal Funding Authorization (PFRA's) for equipment refurbishment.


Vessel of Opportunity Skimming System (VOSS)

The Vessel of Opportunity Skimming System ( VOSS) is a portable side-skimming oil-recovery system which can be deployed from most work vessels over 65 feet in length.

Each VOSS consists of two of the following:

 General Installation

Generally, the VOSS is installed on a vessel with the outriggers mounted on the sides of the vessel.  The sweep boom is then connected to the outer most part of the outriggers on one end and the side of the vessel on the other end.  The boom extends towards the rear of the vessel in a "lazy J" shape and corrals the oil.

The skimmer is then secured to the vessel and placed inside the boom so it can collect the oil trapped there.

The oil collected by the skimmer is pumped into the inflatable barge.  The barge is secured off the rear of the vessel and is pulled behind while the oil is pumped into it.

Vessel of Opportunity Skimming System (VOSS)

Spilled Oil Recovery System (SORS)

The USCG WLB Spilled Oil Recovery System (SORS) is a modern, high performance, over-the-side, single ship recovery system, designed to be used on Coast Guard Bouy Tender (WLB) for response to an environmental emergency. The SORS is comprised of two (2) identical sweeping and skimming systems. The standard operating procedure is to deploy one system over the side of the vessel and deploy one temporary storage bladder over the other side. The SORS is package in four stackable aluminum storage/deployment containers, which fit into the hold under the main deck. The SORS is designed to be installed and operated by the vessel crew following instruction in this manual and with minimal training. Regular training and exercising with the equipment is highly recommended since it will improve response time and oil recovery efficiency. A trained crew of ten should be able to install the SORS equipment in the “in transit” mode in less than one hour with assistance of a lifting crane. Once on the scene of the oil spill, the equipment can be fully deployed and recovering oil in less than one hour. The SORS incorporates the latest technology in oil sweeping and skimming equipment. The components are lightweight and easy to assemble yet will survive in difficult operating conditions.

Each SORS consists of two of the following:

Spilled Oil Recovery System (SORS) 

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Last Modified 1/12/2016