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Oil spill drill tests the rapid response of the Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol has deployed and tested its oil spill response equipment in a drill scenario to check its ability to handle an emergency in the waterfront.

The patrol boats were in the harbor entrance Wednesday morning pulling out a yellow "boom" that would be used to encircle a spill.

The test included the immediate harbor entrance, the main channel and the finger towards the boat launch ramp.

In a real spill this equipment would be rolled out in minutes. If it was a large spill or one coming from outside the harbor the U.S. Coast Guard would also be involved.

Where it goes depends on the size of the spill and the direction of travel.

Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol Lt. Nathan Alldredge saie, "the (response) trailer itself is in the launch ramp  area.  We can have it hooked up and ready to go to any of our emergency vehicles and if we do get a call, we can be there in five minutes to the trailer to get it to the beach area."

The drill lasted about an hour and the boom was washed off and restacked into a special trailer.

Beyond the local resources, in a real emergency with additional needs, "we have obviously Harbor Patrol down in Ventura and Channel Islands and we have the oil spill response and the Coast Guard station down in the Channel Islands as well."

The drill is done annually. "We have a great blend of seasoned officers and some younger officers, we mentor them in this response . Hopefully this never happens. We have to do this and put our training in. t I want the community to know we we'll be ready," said Alldredge.


Article Topic Follows: Environment & Energy
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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


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