If you saw first responders in the water near the Monterey Fisherman's Wharf, Friday, know no one was in danger.
The Monterey Fire Department, Monterey Harbor Division, United States Coast Guard, CAL Fire, and California State Parks practiced response tactics for a potential oil spill.
"Oil spills are catastrophic. It ruins our environment," said Monterey scuba diver, Kendall Heisel.
The intricate process began around 1 p.m. out of Breakwater Cove Marina. A 500-foot boom was hauled out to sea. The device is used to trap oil, floating on the surface of the water, after a spill. The Monterey Fire Department brought the five agencies together to get comfortable using it. "That's one of the big things we want to work on, today. How can we make sure that when all these different agencies show up that we're all able to talk to each other and effectively work as a team?" said Greg Greenlee with the Monterey Fire Department.
Teamwork is no doubt a necessity during a situation as serious as an oil spill. Lindsey Saum with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said a spill will have the biggest, and deadliest, impact on marine life in the Monterey Bay. "A lot of species rely on their feathers or fur to keep them warm in this cold water. They also use it to keep buoyant on the surface of the water. If oil gets in their fur or feathers it can be really detrimental to them," said Saum.
The Monterey Fire Department said the Monterey Bay has not experienced a drastic spill in recent years. Officials admit this is also part of the reason they are brushing up on their skills. "We're fortunate in the design of the bay. Where we are right now, it kind of all collects in our area. It's easy for us to confine with the layout of the harbor, the boom, what we have in our trailer, and the things we have on hand on a daily basis," said Greenlee.