Marine Response Alliance Member Titan Maritime Wins Award

Tuesday, August 05, 2003
Marine Response Alliance member company Titan Maritime has received a prestigious 2003 Legacy Award from The Pacific States/British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force for its leadership of a team in the recovery of oil from the sunken vessel S/S JACOB LUCKENBACH. Dick Fairbanks, President of Titan and a Director of the Alliance, accepted the award at the annual meeting of the Task Force in Honolulu July 22. The Task Force gives Legacy Awards to industry, non-profit or public agency organizations and individuals, or for team efforts, for projects, accomplishments, or leadership that demonstrates innovation, management commitment, and improvements in oil spill prevention, preparedness, or response resulting in enhanced environmental protection. Efforts to promote partnerships and involve the public are favored. Organizations, individuals, or projects nominated for the Legacy Award must be located or primarily operating in the Task Force jurisdictions of Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii. Titan Maritime's leadership of the team involved in spill response and recovery of oil from the LUCKENBACH, near the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary off the central California coast, earned them a 2003 Award. The S/S JACOB LUCKENBACH sank in 1953 approximately 17 miles southwest of the Golden Gate Bridge, in 175 feet of water. But it was just last winter that officials identified the wreck as the source of "mystery oil spills" responsible for the deaths of thousands of sea birds over the last two decades. To ensure the success of the project to remove oil from the tanks and interior spaces of the broken hull, Titan assembled a private and public-sector team that included Marine Response Alliance Member company Crowley Marine Services and numerous others: American Marine, Clean Bay, Global Diving and Salvage, the National Response Corporation, PCCI Marine and Environmental Engineering, Divecon, West Coast Seaworks, Sound Hydrographic Services, Universal Services, the US Coast Guard Marine Safety Office in San Francisco, NOAA, the California Office of Spill Prevention and Response, and the California State Lands Commission. Work proceeded under a contract with the U.S. Coast Guard. This team developed innovative strategies to locate and access oil tanks, attach pumps, heat exchangers and other oil removal equipment, heat and mix the oil inside a tank, and pump the oil to the surface. Among the many innovations were computer modeling of the wreck to aid visualization and record-keeping; acoustic navigation and a 6-point mooring system to precisely place the surface barge over the wreck; and system designs that allowed tools, heat exchangers, and pumps to be installed and removed with minimal risk of oil release. The difficult and often dangerous work continued for four months. During that time, there were no serious injuries to team members, who made important technical developments, which will contribute to similar efforts worldwide. With the successful removal of over 100,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil from the S/S JACOB LUCKENBACH, countless sea birds and other sensitive wildlife will be protected from exposure to oil spills. Jean Cameron, Executive Coordinator for the Pacific States/British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force, characterizes Legacy Award winners as "...models for others in industry, government, and the public to emulate. We are pleased to honor the commitment of this year's winners to effective oil spill prevention, efficient spill response, and collaborative teamwork. "

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