Deepwater Horizon Incident - Vessel Assessment Reporting

June 2010

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NOAA Deepwater Horizon Trajectory Map
NOAA Deepwater Horizon Trajectory Map

The Deepwater Horizon Unified Command (which is comprised of organisations including BP, U.S. Coast Guard and Environment Protection Agency, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) has produced a Vessel Assessment Protocol for vessels suspected of  having encountered oiled waters. Vessels must submit a "DWH Oil Incident Vessel Assessment Reporting Form" and, if affected, undergo decontamination. Failure to comply can result in delay and/or penalties. A copy of the Protocol and a sample Reporting Form (19 May 2010 version) are available to view and download below.   

The U.S. Coast Guard sectors responsible for areas which may be affected (such as Mobile and New Orleans)  provide up to date information about the ports in their area and the location of decontamination sites. This information is usually given in regularly updated Marine Safety Information Bulletins for each sector. Vessels intending to visit these areas should check the websites for the relevant U.S. Coast Guard sector. Links to a selection of these sectors are given below:

Other sector websites can be found via the Sector Directory on the U.S. Coast Guard Homeport  website at: (follow the Sector Directory link on the homepage). 

Useful information can also be found on some of the State port authority websites, such as Alabama's Deepwater incident page:

A forecast of the trajectory of the movement of the surface oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill is prepared every day by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This information is used as the basis of the Marine Safety Information Bulletins prepared by the U.S. Coast Guard sectors which may be affected. The NOAA webpage with information on the Deepwater Spill, including the trajectory forecasts, can be found at: 

The Deepwater Horizon Response website (the official website of the Unified Command) can be found at:   


See also: Deepwater Horizon - Shipowner Liabilities