The emergency response towing vessel (ERTV) at Neah Bay helps prevent oil spills from ship and barge groundings and other significant maritime incidents. Contracted access to the ERTV, procedures for calling out the resource, and a commitment to drill are all requirements detailed in the vessel contingency plan. We also require vessel operators to submit a written post-incident report if the ERTV was deployed to assist their vessel.
Capabilities of the tug
- Underway within 20 minutes of call out
- Able to deploy 24 hours per day to provide emergency assistance
- Able to hold or tow a drifting vessel, even in severe weather (wind and waves)
- Equipped with a ship anchor recovery chain and line-throwing gun
- Damage control resources, vessel dewatering tools, and air monitoring instruments staged onboard
Resources for industry
Request ERTV assistance
Information on how to dispatch the ERTV is included in vessel oil spill contingency plan field documents.
Enroll for the ERTV
The industry-funded ERTV is managed by the Marine Exchange of Puget Sound. Visit their website for:
- Enrollment information
- Schedule of vessel information
- Rate sheets for tank and non-tank vessels
The Marine Exchange of Puget Sound provides all administrative services, including invoicing, collection of vessel assessments, and payment of ERTV expenses. The Marine Exchange is a member-based, nonprofit corporation equipped for and experienced in providing information regarding vessels transiting Washington waters, providing various communications services, and sharing information with customers as needed.
Reporting after the incident
Any time the ERTV is deployed on your behalf, we require you to submit a written report to us that includes a detailed description of the incident and what actions were taken. Whenever possible, you should also include photographs to document the incident.
To submit a report, contact Sean Orr at email@example.com, or by mail at Department of Ecology, Spills Program, PO Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600
ERTV laws and rules
- WAC 173-182-242 - Additional requirements for vessel plan holders with access to the emergency response system at Neah Bay.
- RCW 88.46.135 - Emergency response system — Vessel planning standards.