(L-R) Coast Guard Commander, Captain J.J. Plunkett, Lake Charles MIC, Andy Patrick and HAZMAT Program Leader Kent Kuyper (Photo: WFO Lake Charles)
(May 25, 2010) - Captain J.J. Plunkett, Commanding Officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit in Port Arthur, Texas, has presented the Guard's TEAM Certificate Award to the staff at the National Weather Service forecast office in Lake Charles, La.
The award recognizes the office's contributions in support of oil spill clean-up efforts following a collision between a barge and the oil tanker Eagle Otome in the port of Port Arthur, January 23, 2010.
The collision resulted in a 425,000 gallon crude oil spill into the Sabine-Neches Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The National Weather Service team provided up-to-the-minute weather information, tidal forecasts and predictions for offshore sea conditions enabling responders and the U.S. Coast Guard to expedite the clean-up and re-opening of the waterway. Lake Charles staff members named in the certificate include: Andy Patrick, Kent Kuyper, Roger Erickson, Joe Rua, John Trares, Jim Sweeney, Felix Navejar, Lance Escude, Sam Shamburger, Montra Lockwood, Donovan Landreneau, Jonathan Brazzel, Stephen Carboni, Donald Jones, Michael Marcotte and Mike Griffin.
The award was presented during the PORTS® (Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System) dedication at Port Arthur on May 21. PORTS® provides observations of tides, currents, water and air temperature, barometric pressure; and, wind speed, gusts and direction through an easy-to-use web portal at http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/ports.html and by phone at 888-257-1859.
The system is designed to significantly reduce the risk of vessel groundings and increase the amount of cargo moved though the waterway by enabling mariners to safely utilize every inch of dredged channel depth. It also allows large ships to time their arrivals and departures more efficiently.
The Sabine-Neches Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System is one of 20 PORTS® located throughout the nation. The Sabine-Neches Waterway is a set of interlocking river channels and canals extending from the Gulf of Mexico to Port Arthur, Beaumont and Orange, Texas.
Principal cargoes moving through the waterway's ports are crude oil, petroleum products and chemicals. The Waterway also is home to one the nation's newest liquefied natural gas terminals, making it a key transit point for crude ships bringing oil to refineries.
Eagle Otome & barge collision at Port Arthur (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)
Sabine-Neches Waterway (Photo: NOAA)