Emergency Response Tug
Last updated 9/1/2010
The emergency response tug stationed at Neah Bay is an important safety net to prevent disabled ships and barges from grounding in the western Strait of Juan de Fuca or off our outer coast.
Funding for the Neah Bay tug has successfully transitioned from Washington State management to private maritime industry financed and managed operations. The maritime shipping industry established an ERTV contract (vessel under charter to the Washington State Maritime Cooperative) to maintain an industry funded standby towing capability at Neah Bay. As required by statute the U.S.Coast Guard and Ecology may separately contract for the services of the ERTV stationed at Neah Bay to respond to an emerging maritime casualty, or as a precautionary measure.
Since 1999, the tug has deployed to stand by or directly assist 46 vessels that were either completely disabled or had reduced maneuvering ability. On 11 of these responses the tug had to take the disabled vessels in tow to prevent them from drifting onto the rocks and spilling oil. The actions taken in those 11 cases helped prevent a combined spill potential of nearly 5 million gallons of oil.
The Jeffrey Foss stationed at Neah Bay.
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