Oil spill jobs: BP continues Vessels of Opportunity program

By Phaedra Friend Troy

In its Vessels of Opportunity program, BP has developed a campaign to employ local boat operators and crews in the oil spill response activities. 

For comprehensive coverage of the Deepwater Horizon incident, oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and efforts under way to resolve them, visit PennEnergy's Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico special section.

Gulf Coast captains and boat employees chosen for the Vessels of Opportunity program will provide oil spill response services, including transporting supplies, helping with wildlife rescue missions, and deploying containment and sorbent boom devices.

In order to be considered for the Vessels of Opportunity program, the captain and crew must complete four hours of training, as well as pass a US Coast Guard dockside examination. The vessel being considered must be safe and pass an inspection.

Those vessels, captains and crews selected for work with the program will be paid a pre-set rate based on the length of the boat. In addition to daily earnings, captains and crews are eligible for additional compensation based on the vessel’s scheduling. Those crews working during the day will receive eight hours of pay, and those working at night will receive 12 hours of pay.

If a vessel is scheduled for work and not used, it will still be paid the day rate.

Nonetheless, BP claims that “the need for additional vessels is limited” and encourages commercial boat owners to file for commercial losses due to the oil spill.

If a vessel breaks down because of the assignment, BP will pay for its repairs. Every boat used in the Vessels of Opportunity program will be completely decontaminated after its involvement.

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