Coast Guard Buoy Tender Spills Hydraulic Oil Near Kodiak

spar cutter
Coast Guard cutter SPAR at Kodiak, 2006 (file image courtesy USCG)

By The Maritime Executive 12-27-2020 04:53:00

On Saturday, the U.S. Coast Guard buoy tender SPAR spilled an unknown quantity of hydraulic oil into the water at Womens Bay, an inlet near the Coast Guard base at Kodiak Island, Alaska.

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage's Kodiak detachment is monitoring the cleanup, which has been contracted to private response provider Choctaw Defense Services (CDS). The personnel on scene deployed boom systems, absorbent pads, and a skimmer that is pumping recovered oil to a vacuum truck.

At 0940 hours, the sector Anchorage Command Center heard from the National Response Center that the crew of the SPAR had reported a hydraulic oil discharge. The exact amount of the release is not known at this time, but the hydraulic oil tank has a maximum capacity of about 900 gallons, the Coast Guard said. 

The source of the discharge has been secured, and the cause of the release is under investigation.

“Our primary focus is on mitigating potential impacts to the environment,” said PO2 Joshua Thorne, a pollution responder from Marine Safety Detachment Kodiak.  

The cutter SPAR, nicknamed "the Aleutian Keeper," takes her name from the acronym for the Coast Guard Womens Reserve (the SPARs). She is the second ship to bear the name, and she was commissioned in 2001 at the Marinette shipyard in Wisconsin. She regularly ventures out to Alaska's furthest reaches, as far west as Adak and as far north as the Kuskokwim River.