Ship Escort/Response Vessel System (SERVS) Program


Since 1998, Prince William Sound College has assisted Alyeska Pipeline Service Company in conducting annual oil spill response training under the Ship Escort/Response Vessel System (SERVS) Fishing Vessel Program by providing instructors and logistical support. The Fishing Vessel Program is required by the oil discharge prevention and contingency plans for both the Valdez Marine Terminal and the tankers which transport crude oil through Prince William Sound. Without a trained fishing vessel fleet, a response to a crude oil spill in the Sound could not be carried out.

Annual fishing vessel training instructs Tier I and Tier II fishing vessel crews in response equipment use, response tactics, communications, Incident Command System, and response plans through indoor and outdoor classes and on-water drills, so they are prepared to respond to a major oil spill at any time. The training is offered in six ports, Kodiak, Homer, Seward, Whittier, Valdez, and Cordova to over 1800 students on over 420 fishing vessels. The most recent trainings were carried out in these ports between March and May, 2016.

Prince William Sound College also maintains a team of instructors and staff to provide training to vessels in all six ports that might be contracted during a spill response, but which otherwise have no response training. In a major oil spill event, this program will be activated immediately to ensure vessels are ready to support the response in whatever way is needed.

Source: Prince William Sound College

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