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Positive response: Spring Fishing Vessel Training

Spring Fishing Vessel Training wrapped up recently after stops in six Prince William Sound communities: Kodiak, Homer, Seward, Whittier, Cordova and Valdez. For six weeks each spring, and another two weeks in the fall, SERVS personnel and other contractor partners provide training to crews who live and work in these areas and are part of the Vessel of Opportunity (VOO) Program.

The VOO is a critical piece of partnership and preparedness in the Sound and for SERVS and Alyeska. Alyeska contracts with more than 400 vessels around Prince William Sound to provide oil spill response support. The program was started in 1990 to employ locals in oil spill response, especially those working in the fishing industry. Today, the boats and their crews are an integral part of Alyeska’s response readiness and trusted team members.

This video shot by Kelsey Appleton, SERVS’ Cordova-area alternative Fishing Vessel Administrator, of the recent training action in Cordova. She wrote, “It’s a beautiful day in Nelson Bay! Cordova vessels of opportunity load up and head out to the bay north of town to participate in on-water training. SERVS personnel and others are in the midst of two weeks of training in the Prince William Sound fishing community.”

The photos were taken by Michelle Egan, Chief Communications Officer, during training in Kodiak in early April. The FV New Dawn left Kodiak’s small boat harbor. Captain Clifton Ivanoff is a task force leader charged with towing a barge, operating a skimmer and deploying boom to two other fishing vessels that are part of his task force. On the bow of the FV New Dawn, crew members adjust lines. FV Anapilar works as part of the task force.

After training was online-only in 2020, SERVS and others worked hard to move forward with in-person training this year, with COVID-protocols in place.