ISS3 2017

Reservist Magazine is the award-winning official publication of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Quarterly issues include news and feature articles about the men and women who comprise America's premier national maritime safety and security

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The reservists of Sector San Francisco gather in front of the Golden Gate Bridge on their all-hands weekend April 8. Photo by ME1 d avid Heaphy. Sector San Francisco reservists transition from all-hands weekend to San Francisco Bay incident response Reservists from Sector San Francisco began to arrive Friday night, April 7, for the Sector's annual all-hands gathering at Yerba Buena Island, which was slated for the weekend. However, much earlier Friday morning, bad weather and high winds capsized and sunk a freight barge with a crane near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The 112-foot barge came to rest on top of the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) subterranean transbay tube, 25 feet below. "Within the first few hours, you don't know how big something's going to be, but this was extremely visible and sensitive," said Lt. Cmdr. Kris Leverich, chief of the Sector's Reserve Force Readiness Staff division. "The San Francisco Bay Area is a cross-roads of human activity, so the community is also highly sensitive to public safety and environmental concerns." After a swift personnel inspection, 40 of the reservists from the Sector staff quickly responded. On Saturday morning (April 8), they reported to the Sector's Incident Command Post (ICP), relieving the active duty staff. The barge owner estimated about 3,000 gallons of diesel remained in the tanks, as well as another 300 gallons of hydraulic oil on board. "It was extremely providential how it all unfolded," said Lt. Megan Mervar, assistant chief of Sector San Francisco's Incident Management Division. "It was a huge relief to have the reservists able to augment the ICP so the active duty could have a break, knowing that the next few weeks would be pretty intense." Reservists filled the majority of the positions in the ICP throughout the initial weekend, including incident commander, operations section chief, deputy operations section chief, and planning section chief, but also augmented in the field as group supervisors conducting shoreline cleanup assessments to determine the extent of environmental impacts from the oil on the shoreline. Reserve boat crews even provided the security zone around the incident. "Our reservists arrived inspection-ready in trops for a day of admin and training, but also fully-qualified to assume key roles in the IMT (Incident Management Team)," said Leverich. "We plan and train with assumptions that our reservists may get deployed elsewhere, but this is one of the very scenarios the command envisions when it directs energy into training its reservists. We bring expansion capacity to in-house capability, which is operationally priceless." There was an initial discharge of an unknown amount of diesel, with significant sheening in the vicinity of the incident, but in June, a salvage company removed 2,700 gallons of petroleum product from the barge. As of July, it remains on the sea floor, but pieces will be sectioned and lifted at a later date. — Submitted by Lt. Megan K. Mervar Issue 3 • 2017 � RESERVIST 9

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