Coast Survey prepares Rapid Maritime Response for Tropical Storm Isaac   3 comments

With the approach of Tropical Storm Isaac, headed toward the state of Florida, Coast Survey navigation managers and navigation response teams have moved into Rapid Maritime Response preparations. Coast Survey is often called upon to speed the resumption of ocean shipping — slowed or shut down by hurricane damage — by searching for submerged debris or other dangers to navigation in port areas or shipping lanes. After navigation response teams survey the areas, ports can resume operations safely and efficiently.

Our navigation managers work with port representatives, and state and federal officials in the area, to coordinate their requests for NOAA data and services, and our manager for Florida is already fielding requests from port officials and the U.S. Coast Guard in Florida.

Navigation response teams deploy with small boats trailerable by truck to any U.S. destination. In addition to regular assignments that make shipping safe in and around ports, they are prepared to respond to disasters.

Coast Survey deploys six navigation response teams, at all times, to conduct long-term hydrographic projects in critical maritime areas. While surveying, the teams remain on alert to respond to emergencies anywhere on the nation’s coasts. The teams are three-person crews who can transport the hydrographic equipment and 28’ survey boats to coastal locations where submerged debris or shoaling would cause a danger to navigation.

Two teams, currently surveying in Florida (NRT1 and NRT2), are now going through hurricane response checklists and ensuring fuel supplies. They are monitoring the storm and will put the equipment into a safe location if conditions require, so they are ready to roll when called. Two other teams (NRT4 surveying in Texas and NRT5 in Massachusetts) are continuing on their current survey assignments while remaining on call for emergency deployment, depending on where Isaac is headed.

The Coast Survey MIST — a mobile integrated survey team, equipped with side scan sonar equipment and an autonomous underwater vehicle — is ready to deploy from Coast Survey headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. Additionally, a Twin Otter airplane is equipped and ready to conduct remote sensing and aerial photography.

NOAA also has several survey ships currently working in the Atlantic. The Thomas Jefferson, Ferdinand R. Hassler, and Nancy Foster are able to join the Rapid Maritime Response if needed.

Coast Survey will update this graphic as survey assets are deployed.

3 responses to “Coast Survey prepares Rapid Maritime Response for Tropical Storm Isaac

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  1. Thanks for the suggestion, Guy. Coast Survey’s Hydrographic Surveys Division is working with the contractors currently surveying in the Gulf, to ascertain their current locations, determine how they may be impacted by the storm and their potential response capabilities.

  2. You might also consider showing contractor assets for those with IDIQ that can be tasked quickly in aftermath of an incident.

  3. A good article Dawn, especially the graphic. Well done!

    Patrick Fink 337-501-3097

    On Aug 23, 2012, at 4:03 PM, NOAA Coast Survey wrote:

    WordPress.com NOAA Office of Coast Survey posted: “With the approach of Tropical Storm Isaac, headed toward the state of Florida, Coast Survey navigation managers and navigation response teams have moved into Rapid Maritime Response preparations. Coast Survey is often called upon to speed the resumption o”

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