Martin & Ottaway RSA Call Out: Long Beach, CA

By: Chris Law

On August 28, 2013 a tanker was lying at anchor off the port of Long Beach, CA and experienced a breach of the shell plate above the waterline in way of the No. 6P water ballast tank following allision with another vessel.

Donjon-SMIT is the nominated OPA-90 resource provider in the Vessel Response Plan (VRP) for the vessel, providing Salvage and Marine Fire Fighting (SMFF) rapid situation assessment. As a result, the attending vessel QI notified Donjon-SMIT at 1724 hours and a short time later requested an activated SMFF response.

Donjon-SMIT contacted Martin & Ottaway RSA network member Mr. David Mehus (of Duncan Shoemaker & Associates, LLC) for USCG Sector D11, Los Angeles – Long Beach, who was subsequently on a launch out to the vessel by 1947 hours.

In a flawless response, Mr. Mehus was on board the vessel and able to make a rapid situation assessment in coordination with an attending Class representative and, thankfully in this instance, there was no spill and no human casualty.

Not only were the USCG requirements for OPA-90 SMFF rapid response satisfied but the attending RSA was also able to assist the vessel Owner in providing a rapid determination of the damages.

The vessel’s strength condition was quickly assessed and the vessel was permitted to proceed with intended cargo operations prior to having to undergo temporary repairs to satisfy Class conditions for subsequent port departure.

The professionalism and value of Donjon-SMIT as an OPA-90 SMFF resource provider was clearly demonstrated through the rapid attendance of the Martin & Ottaway RSA and if the situation had deteriorated or had been of a more severe nature, Mr. Mehus was on the scene and would have been able to assist Donjon-SMIT real time to activate the best possible response to a dynamic situation.

Martin & Ottaway manages the salvage aspect of a US wide network of Salvage and Marine Fire Fighting, SMFF, rapid situation assessors (RSAs) on behalf of Donjon-SMIT, an OPA-90 alliance. For further information please visit the following websites: