OR&R Staff Participate in Marine Salvage Response Course
APRIL 24, 2023 — The week of March 20, 2023, NOAA Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) staff attended and presented at the American Salvage Association Marine Salvage Response Course in Alameda, California. OR&R was represented by the California regional coordinator for the Marine Debris Program, Christy Kehoe, and scientific support coordinator (SSC) with the Emergency Response Division, Cmdr. Faith Knighton.
This three-day course, hosted by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Pacific Area and District 11, contained a breadth of presentations on salvaging operations that included marine firefighting, stability, environmental considerations, emergency vessel towing, commercial diving operations, emergency lightering, and the Coast Guard diving, Pacific Strike Team, and Salvage Engineering Response Team capabilities. Each of the Coast Guard districts 11, 13, 14, and 17 briefed on case studies, challenges, and lessons learned from their work with salvage operations.
Additionally, the U.S. Navy supervisor of salvage presented an overview. The National Pollution Fund Center presented on how the fund relates to salvage. Use of short-range unmanned aircraft systems was discussed with examples of mission successes. The NOAA SSC presented an overview of OR&R scientific support related to salvage operations, including the role of the SSC, oil spill scientific support, the Marine Debris Program, the Assessment and Restoration Division and natural resource damage assessment, and the Disaster Preparedness Program.
The course also included gear demonstrations on Emergency Vessel Attachment and Towing systems, Global Diving and Salvage commercial dive operations, and emergency lightering and dewatering equipment. The students got hands-on experience with this equipment and discussed operations with subject matter experts.
This course built on knowledge and understanding of the authorities and operations for marine salvage consistent with the National Contingency Plan; dove into the specific considerations for planning, preparedness, and response in salvage operations; strengthened capacity building; and reinforced OR&R’s network to provide scientific support for pollution threat emergencies.