Image supplied courtesy of AMOSC
The first response to an oil spill is to fix the cause of the leak or
spill and make sure people are safe. Floating booms can be used to stop
the spread of oil over water. They look like long floating sausages.
They can be rolled onto a trailer for storage and are easy to transport
to where they are needed. Small powered boats are needed to get them
into place. The boats drag them around the edge of the oil spill.
With a boom placed around the oil it will not spread further. This will
keep beaches and other parts of the coast and the structures inside a
If the weather and waves are not too strong the oil can be kept inside the booms. A skimmer can then mop up the oil.
However out at sea and in strong winds floating booms may be impossible to use.
Chemicals can be sprayed on the oil spill to break it up. When oil is
treated with chemicals, it is less likely to coat and kill birds and other
marine life and affect the quality of the water.