EU offers special oil recovery equipment to support the US in combating the environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico

On 27th of May in the late afternoon, the European Commission’s Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) received a request for assistance from the United States Coast Guard to provide specific types of oil recovery equipment. Within a few hours, the MIC was able to put together a consolidated European offer with equipment available from Spain, the Netherlands and the European Maritime Safety Agency.

“We stand shoulder to shoulder with our American friends as they work to deal with this environmental disaster. We have already developed an excellent cooperation on emergency response and this positive reaction from Europe to the call for equipment for the Gulf of Mexico is an international solidarity in dealing with ecological disasters.” said Kristalina Georgieva, Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.

The US Coast Guard has identified an urgent need for three complete sets of rigid sweeping arms. These are specific types of skimmers that can be attached directly to a ship in order to recover oil. These sweeping arms are to be used in the oil spill recovery operations on the deepwater horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico and should be lent to the US for a period of 1-3 months. All costs associated with the transport, handling and replacement of the arms and related equipment will be covered by a US contracted company.

The European Commission’s Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) reacted immediately forwarded the request to the Participating States and to the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). Within less than one hour, Spain made a first offer of assistance. This was followed by offers from EMSA and the Netherlands. The MIC has consolidated the offers and is ready to coordinate a swift and urgent operation to gather all the necessary equipment and ship it directly by air to Houston and/or New Orleans.

The MIC together with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) has been monitoring the situation over the last weeks and also stands ready to send a team of experts to facilitate coordination of the EU assets’ deployment on the ground.

For More info on Commission’s humanitarian aid:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm

Citation:  Press Release of the European Commission IP/10/631

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