Scenes from Harwich Oil Spill Training Exercise 2007

Town of Harwich

This multi-departmental exercise in compliance
with a Homeland Security grant took place on
September 25th at the Harwich Fire Headquarters on Sisson Road
and Saquatucket Harbor, Harwich Port, Massachusetts

It was Oil Spill training day for members of Harwich and Chatham Fire Departments and the Harwich Harbormasters Office. There are 19 trailers exactly like this on the Cape & Islands so everything is interchangable with other units. Therefore, when the big one hits, everyone can tie together 19,000 feet of boom easily able to surround the shore line of the entire Town of Harwich. This unit will only be deployed for siignificant spills. It may not be practical for small spills less than ten gallons including minor oil sheens which are seen with some frequency in small working harbors as this one.

Different types of booms were discussed, however, this type known as fence boom, is most common. Boom deployment simply involves sliding directly from the rear of the trailer. Trailer has a storage space in front with hand tools, sorbents, ropes, bridles, chain and anchor lines. Bridle attachs to the boom and associated float.

When it comes to currents we learned, use common sense by looking at the wrack line for a clue and boom accordingly.

Use of sacrificial beach area and exclusionary booming of shellfish flats was also discussed.

Of course what to do after the spill is contained is equally important.

(more information to follow soon)

Website produced by
Tom Leach, Harbormaster