A three-vessel collision in the Tampa Bay entrance channel on August 10, 1993, caused a huge explosion and fire, major damage to all vessels, and spills of 330,000 gallons of No. 6 oil and 32,000 gallons of a mixture of light petroleum products. A dynamic team was forged to respond to a complex series of problems. Functional command centers and forward command posts were established, a unified command system was implemented, and federal, state, and local governments and the multiple responsible parties coordinated efficiently. The unified command dealt effectively with considerations such as vessel control, fire fighting, lightering, salvage, pollution cleanup, and impacted wildlife. An active approach to the media resulted in critical information being relayed to the public and the response effort being portrayed accurately. The development of trust with multiple local governments enabled the response team to meet local needs while gaining their support. The unified command dealt with difficulties such as communicating effectively with the field and ensuring safety for large number of responders involved in a variety of hazardous activities.

This content is only available as a PDF.