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Network of Stand-by Oil Spill Response Vessels

Projection end 2020 -  EMSA Network of standby oil spill Response vessels EAS dispersant StockpilesEMSA has established a network of stand-by oil spill response vessels through contracts with commercial vessel operators. EMSA’s contracted vessels have been specifically adapted for oil spill response operations and are on stand-by, carrying out their usual commercial activities.

In the event of an oil spill, the selected vessel will cease its normal activities and will be made available to the requesting party fully-equipped for oil spill response services under established terms and conditions and tariffs. Following a request for assistance, the maximum time for the oil spill response vessel to be ready to sail is 24 hours.

Regardless of their area of commercial operations, all vessels in the EMSA network can be mobilised for response to an oil spill anywhere in European waters and shared sea basins.

Key Aspects of the Network

pollution response exercise

Each of EMSA’s contracted vessels has the following characteristics:

• Speed of 12 knots for prompt arrival on scene as well as low speed manoeuvrability for response operations
• On-board capability to decant excess water thereby maximising the use of on-board storage capacity
• Large storage capacity for recovered oil
• Ability to heat recovered cargo and use high capacity pumps to facilitate the discharging of heavy viscous oil mixtures to facilities ashore
• Oil slick detection system to facilitate the positioning of the vessel in the thicker oil slicks, and to enable operations at night.

All vessel arrangements comprise of two different containment and mechanical recovery options available for response operations depending on the weather conditions and type of pollutant:

• Sweeping arms;
• Ocean-going booms and an offshore skimmer (on certain vessels there are also high-capacity skimmers and weir booms available).

The average individual oil storage capacity of EMSA’s contracted vessels is in the region of 3 600 m³, while the total storage capacity of all the vessels in the network is around 60 000 m³.

In addition, as shown on the map above, some of the vessels also have on board:

• Seaborne dispersant spraying capability (seaborne dispersant application systems and dispersant stockpiles)

• Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) integrated on board for oil spill detection and surveillance (Type: Lockheed Martin Indago, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) lightweight unmanned aerial system)

pollution response dispersants