Penn Cove Shellfish employees will participate in oil spill training Friday near the mussel rafts.
The on-the-water exercises will likely include oil booms and other equipment used when responded to a hazardous waste spill in the water, according to Dominic Pangelinan, human resources and compliance officer at Penn Cove Shellfish.
The training, which is facilitated by National Response Corporation, has been done in the classroom for the last several years, Pangelinan said. On Friday, 23 employees will go out on the water starting around 10 a.m. until around 4 p.m.
The training not only benefits the shellfish company by teaching employees how to protect the farm, Pangelinan said, but also the NRC by having more trained individuals who will be able to quickly respond to an emergency.
“We’re out here all the time,” he said. “We’d be the first people to see something if it happened on the water.”
Such an emergency can have a profound impact on the business. In 2012, a 128-foot crab boat caught fire and caused a spill that shut down Penn Cove Shellfish for a month. The boat leaked over 5,000 gallons of diesel and cost over $2 million to clean up, according to a lawsuit against the boat’s owner.
Pangelinan said the company wants the public to be aware Friday’s activities are for training purposes, so there isn’t undo concern over a spill.
“It’s just an exercise,” he said. “They can look, but it’s nothing to be alarmed about.”