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Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard conduct oil spill response drill in Ketchikan


KETCHIKAN, Alaska - As part of the 2011 Canadian U.S. Dixon Entrance oil spill response exercise, the crews of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Anthony Petit and the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Bartlett practiced deploying their vessel of opportunity oil skimming systems in Refuge Cove five miles north of Ketchikan Sept. 21, 2011. Severe weather conditions in Refuge Cove limited the time the two crews had to work with the response equipment and the shipboard exercises were concluded early due to safety concerns. U.S. Coast Guard video by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis. KETCHIKAN, Alaska - Cmdr. Matt Jones, deputy commander U.S. Coast Guard Sector Juneau (left), and Mr. Don Rodden, Canadian Coast Guard (right), listen to a presentation about the port of Prince Rupert, B.C., expansion and the potential effects of   increased vessel traffic on the Dixon Entrance trans-boundary region during the 2011 Canadian U.S. Dixon Entrance exercise at the Ted Ferry Civic Center in Ketchikan Sept. 20, 2011. The two Coast Guards hold exercises in Ketchikan and Prince Rupert to raise awareness of potential environemental threats and response capabilities in the region. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis. KETCHIKAN, Alaska -The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Bartlett crew deploy their over-the-side skimming system in conjunction with the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Anthony Petit in Refuge Cove five miles north of Ketchikan as part of a three-day Canadian U.S. Dixon Entrance oil spill response exercise Sept. 21, 2011. The Bartlett's small boat was deployed to serve as a safety observer platform in the high winds and heavy rain. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis. KETCHIKAN, Alaska - The crews of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Anthony Petit and the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Bartlett prepare to deploy vessel of opportunity skimming systems in conjunction with the Canadian U.S. Dixon Entrance oil reponse exercise in Refuge Cove five miles north of Ketchikan Sept. 21, 2011. The   Anthony Petit is a 175-foot coastal buoy tender homeported in Ketchikan and the Bartlett is 189-foot ice strengthened medium navaids tender homeported in Victoria, B.C. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis. KETCHIKAN, Alaska - Seaman Elizabeth Vannatta stands look out aboard a 27-foot Response Boat-Small from Station Ketchikan during an oil spill response exercise involving the crews of the 175-foot U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Anthony Petit and the 189-foot Canadian Coast Guard Ship Bartlett in Refuge Cove five miles north of Ketchikan Sept. 21, 2011. To prevent any injuries to the responders caused by high winds and periods of heavy rain, the equipment deployment was concluded early. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Sara Francis. KETCHIKAN, Alaska – Members of the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards partnered this week to conduct the 15th Canadian U.S. Dixon Entrance oil spill response drill in Ketchikan. The three-day exercise brought oil spill response professionals, environmental experts and oil spill first responders from the federal, state and industry sectors together to discuss how they would respond to potential pollution incidents in the Dixon Entrance trans-boundary between the two nations.

“This drill provides many benefits to both countries and allows responders to meet with their counterparts to discuss response jurisdictions, equipment, tactics, resources and capabilities,” said Capt. Scott Bornemann, commander Coast Guard Sector Juneau and captain of the port for Southeast Alaska. “It also ensures that we can respond more quickly as a team when incidents occur.”

While exercise participants took part in the event's various venues, seminars and workshops inside, the crews of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Anthony Petit and the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Bartlett practiced deploying and operating their on board oil spill response equipment including a Spilled Oil Response System and side skimmers in Refuge Cove five miles north of Ketchikan Wednesday. Severe weather conditions in Refuge Cove limited the time the two crews had to work with the response equipment and the shipboard exercises were concluded early due to safety concerns.

Although the shipboard portion of the event had to be concluded early, event participants still felt that they were able to benefit greatly from attending the event held bi-annually for the last six years and annually before that.

“This CANUS DIX exercise has been valuable to build on the strong, collaborative relationship that Canadian representatives have with the U.S. Coast Guard and their fellow agencies to prepare for and exercise oil spill management and response for the contiguous waters of Dixon Entrance which is of major importance to both our countries,” said Susan Steele, regional director, Maritime Services Canadian Coast Guard Pacific Region.

The CANUS DIX exercise has been held in Ketchikan and Prince Rupert, B.C., alternately. The two nations also hold a CANUS North exercise in Alaska as well as similar exercises in other U.S. Canadian boundary areas to discuss response efforts in these regions.

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