In the world of mechanical spill response, success stories are limited. The case of the F/V Windy Bay is an exception and much has been learned from the experience. On August 4, 2001, the fishing vessel Windy Bay hit a charted rock near Olsen Island in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The vessel carried 35,000 gallons of diesel fuel and sank quickly with no loss of life. A response was initiated, led by the USCG, with input from the owner, their response contractor, Chadux, and the contractor for the USCG, Alyeska/SERVS. The response lasted 20 days and involved 192 personnel, 20 spill response trained fishing vessels, the Valdez Star, and the CurrentBuster™ nearshore recovery system. By day six, over 12,000 gallons had been recovered and 19,500 gallons had evaporated or naturally dispersed. The mechanical response was very successful. The response also included major programs for protecting sensitive resources, informing the public and stakeholders, issue management, wildlife response programs and evaluations, decontamination, and waste management programs.

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