Boats may become contaminated as a result of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Contaminated boats will have to be decontaminated. While the specifics of the decontamination process are still being worked out, here is the latest information for Florida. Please remember that this decontamination plan is preliminary and is subject to change without prior notice. Florida Sea Grant will update this page as more information becomes available. This page was last updated June 11, 2010.
- Commercial vessel – Large commercial vessels like barges, tugs, crew ships, skimming vessels, of mostly steel construction
- Recreational vessels – vessels of opportunity, charter boats, shrimp boats, private vessels, skiffs, of mostly fiberglass construction
- Private vessels – privately owned and operated recreational vessels not engaged in oil cleanup efforts, sail boats, cruising boats, fishing boats, trawlers, etc., of mostly fiberglass construction
The 1st phase will be vessel decontamination stations set up outside of the pass if weather permits or just inside the pass in rough weather. There will be one decontamination station for commercial vessels and one for recreational vessels. No vessels (including private vessels) will be allowed past the first decontamination stations if they are trailing any oil sheen. If the vessels require further decon they will be directed to phase 2 decon at the designated decon site.
The 2nd phase of decontamination for recreational vessels will be to proceed to the decontamination facility to be lifted out by crane upland and cleaned. Maximum vessel size will be between 50’-60’. If the required decontamination will take excessive time, most likely over 2 hours, the vessel may be directed to a boat yard for extensive proper cleaning.
The 3rd phase of decontamination would be for vessels with heavy oiling that will require extensive time to decontaminate and would be done at an authorized boat yard facility.
Private vessels, unless they are trailing an oil sheen, will be cleaned upland by appointment and the process will be handled much like an insurance repair claim. If they are trailing a sheen they will get a preliminary cleaning at the phase one remote decon station then be directed to call in a claim and follow the cleaning procedures to further decon and cleaning of the vessel. Most private vessels will be allowed to return to there home port and call for cleaning instructions and scheduling.
No steam cleaning will be used in phase 2 or phase 3 decon. Private vessels that are cleaned will be cleaned using normal environmentally friendly soaps and cleaning methods.
Please note that even though similar procedures are being used currently in other Gulf Coast States this is an overview subject to change prior to final approval and is being developed specifically for Florida. The decontamination details are also site specific and may vary slightly from port to port. We will try to update everyone as the details of the plan begin to solidify.