The Great Lakes Towing Company proudly hosted emergency responders from across the Great Lakes at their Cleveland Shipyard facility for a U. S. Coast Guard Preparedness Response Exercise Program (PREP) one-day oil spill exercise. The PREP is designed to test and improve communication, planning, and emergency response proficiency among various maritime commercial and government stakeholders in the event of an actual oil spill.
The highly successful exercise was sponsored by the U. S. Coast Guard’s 9th District Headquarters and coordinated by the USCG Marine Safety Unit Cleveland. The Great Lakes Towing Company supported the USCG by providing a base of operations for the exercise, while Interlake Steamship Company moored the M/V DOROTHY ANN and barge PATHFINDER alongside The Great Lakes Towing Company facility as a simulated damaged vessel.
This hands-on simulation of an oil spill provided participants with an opportunity to use and validate a variety of response plans, as well as to place oil deflection and containment boom in the water around environmentally sensitive areas.
The exercise was based on a scenario in which a large vessel strikes a submerged object in the Cuyahoga River, damaging the vessel and discharging approximately 40,000 gallons of diesel fuel into the river.