Coast Guard shuts down oil-skimming barges due to … lack of life vests onboard

posted at 8:35 pm on June 17, 2010 by Allahpundit

Bureaucracy fever — catch it!

Eight days ago, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal ordered barges to begin vacuuming crude oil out of his state’s oil-soaked waters. Today, against the governor’s wishes, those barges sat idle, even as more oil flowed toward the Louisiana shore.

“It’s the most frustrating thing,” the Republican governor said today in Buras, La. “Literally, yesterday morning we found out that they were halting all of these barges.”…

[T]he Coast Guard ordered the stoppage because of reasons that Jindal found frustrating. The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board, and then it had trouble contacting the people who built the barges…

“They promised us they were going to get it done as quickly as possible,” [Jindal] said. But “every time you talk to someone different at the Coast Guard, you get a different answer.”

The barges are now back to work thanks to Jindal pounding the table, but follow the link and read the whole piece. This is by no means an isolated incident: Alabama’s governor is running into the same problems thanks to the alphabet soup of federal agencies attempting to govern the clean-up by committee. If you wanted to know why an oil-spill czar was needed, this is why — because the red tape is so thick, the only way to possibly cut through it is to, er, add a little bit more red tape and bind up all the loose ends under the authority of a single officer. How lucky do you feel?

Very much worth three minutes of your time: Jindal and the locals do what little they can to turn back the thick black tide.


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Good grief! We have Ray Nagin sitting in the White House.

The newest appointment of a “czar” solves nothing. It is just one more layer of bureaucracy that the other alphabet soups have to clear.

Amendment X is looking better and better all of the time. The federal government is just a lumbering beast unable to address a problem expediently.

The citizens and their local leaders have more common sense than does Captain Kick*ass. Their communities and livelihoods are at stake and they have the self-reliance to do something about this growing disaster.

onlineanalyst on June 17, 2010 at 9:47 PM

Maybe if they dumped all that red tape in the Gulf it would magically suck out all the oil? Maybe if they did the same with these inane bureaucrats it would do the same thing?
Are we going to hear that the CG is racist for shutting down these skimming operations cause of a technical breach of certain rules?

eaglewingz08 on June 17, 2010 at 9:48 PM

I have never been convinced that the Administration was trying to prolong the spill cleanup, but I think this proves I need to re-think this.

WoosterOh on June 17, 2010 at 9:48 PM

Coast Guard shuts down oil-skimming barges due to … lack of life vests onboard

IF WE HAD A COMMANDER IN CHIEF HEADS WOULD ROLL!
THIS WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN!

How much damage will this America hater be allowed to do until someone upholds their oath of office and removes him?

dhunter on June 17, 2010 at 9:50 PM

I hate BHO and the left, with all my heart. I really, really do.

madmonkphotog on June 17, 2010 at 9:51 PM

These folks can’t take over my health care fast enough.

Cindy Munford on June 17, 2010 at 9:52 PM

They should have life jackets. And anyone insulting the Coast Guard has to some real first class idiot. Those men and women truly do risk their lives all the time to save people, to assist in disasters, and enforce the law. There are many Coasties right now, still in Iraq.

For people, while being mad at Barry, to attack them, shows you don’t have a clue.

TiminPhx on June 17, 2010 at 9:12 PM

The Coast Guard is not above criticism. Granted, the men and women serving put their lives on the line. But…

If verification of life vests and fire extinguishers is required, do it. Just don’t stop the operation. There is no reason they couldn’t have inspected while the barges are in operation. Bureaucratic procedures need to be re-prioritized in the field, and on the fly.

If a bureaucracy cannot do this in crisis situations, it deserves criticism.

Saltysam on June 17, 2010 at 9:55 PM

Baxter Greene on June 17, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Awesome.

Apparently, NO. HE. CAN’T.

hillbillyjim on June 17, 2010 at 9:58 PM

The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board,

And these are the people guarding us against dope dealers, smugglers and terrorists. God help us all!!!!!!

MaiDee on June 17, 2010 at 9:58 PM

Sarah Palin please, pleeaasseee,

Bring back the Jimmy “i fear wabbitts” Carter
MISERY INDEX!

This guy and his merry band of American hating Democrats make me long for the Carter years. At least a guy could make some money then!

dhunter on June 17, 2010 at 9:58 PM

There is NO reason to ask for forgiveness from the feds.

NO REASON!!

madmonkphotog on June 17, 2010 at 10:00 PM

Remember when the media panned Jindal for his response to Obama’s State of the Union? … They said he lacked style. Well, let this be a lesson. Substance trumps style ALWAYS!

Utica681 on June 17, 2010 at 10:01 PM

Sarah Palin twittered on MAY 31ST:

Gov.Jindal:to avoid ravished coast, build the berms.Ask forgiveness later;Feds are slow to act,local leadership&action can do more for coast

What took you so long, Jindal?

TeleL on June 17, 2010 at 10:04 PM

President of the United States Ray Nagin! Ha ha ha! God help us!

MCGIRV on June 17, 2010 at 10:12 PM

Obama is Stuck On Stupid. We need General Honore.

Wolfen on June 17, 2010 at 10:15 PM

Your DHS, hard at work… amazing…

Khun Joe on June 17, 2010 at 10:20 PM

hillbillyjim

OT

Have you heard this album? Phenomenal! You will NOT be disappointed.

Saltysam on June 17, 2010 at 10:21 PM

These folks can’t take over my health care fast enough.

Cindy Munford on June 17, 2010 at 9:52 PM

+100

WitchDoctor on June 17, 2010 at 10:31 PM

Hey, Captain Kick-Ass!! Looks like you need to put the CG on your list. As Judge Smails would say, “Well…we’re waiting!”

gregbert on June 17, 2010 at 10:34 PM

I am going to bed and dream, When I am there I hope to find a John McCain in the White House and Vice President Sarah Palin having setting up shop in the golf solving the problem . . .

tjexcite on June 17, 2010 at 9:45 PM

If you’re going to dream, heck, you might as well dream bigger and better than McCain. Dream REAGAN! :-)

Marybeth on June 17, 2010 at 10:59 PM

At least they got that guy from CSI Miami down there doing the reporting.

Yep, sad attempt at humor when the situation is dreadful and the Obama Regime a corrupt bunch of nasties. Blacker hearts than the oil on the water. Blacker hearts than the oil advancing upon the estuaries and wetlands.

How the socialists do love their crises . . . .

Sherman1864 on June 17, 2010 at 11:00 PM

- Shutting down barges for life vest inspections
- failing to waive Jones act to allow foreign vessels
- forcing workers to wear tyvex suits
- not allowing 99.5% cleaned water to be release back into the Gulf…

Sounds like when a Union enacts an effective work stoppage via enforcing full compliance of contract work rules…

Who says all these union hacks in the administration don’t know what they are doing…

can’t wait until there is a 6 month waiting list for ibuprofen in a few years

phreshone on June 17, 2010 at 11:04 PM

These folks can’t take over my health care fast enough.
Cindy Munford on June 17, 2010 at 9:52 PM

Preview of the Obama’s future cost reduction policies.

911 can I help you

I need an ambulance

I’m sorry all of our ambulance shut down due to the need to check tire pressures in accordance with the manufactures specs.

We are having a hard time finding all the manufactures.

Have a nice day

Click!

DSchoen on June 17, 2010 at 11:17 PM

This is getting absurd.

Does anybody in this administration know what they are doing?

gophergirl on June 17, 2010 at 8:58 PM

They realize *exactly* what they are doing.

NavyspyII on June 17, 2010 at 11:19 PM

journeyintothewhirlwind on June 17, 2010 at 8:56 PM

Ahh you missed part 2 of the C/F

The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board, and then it had trouble contacting the people who built the barges.

How the flock would the barge manufactures know, years later, if the operators of the Barge has fire extinguishers and life vests on board!

Can’t the CG just go on board and look?

DSchoen on June 17, 2010 at 11:55 PM

This order came from the very top. They don’t want this tradegy to end.

Mirimichi on June 18, 2010 at 12:12 AM

You know I looked at the video and heard them say that one of those barges can get 4000 gallons per hour, and that in 24 hours that one barge could get 96,000 gallons in a 24 hour period, and they had 16 of those barges. I did some calculation, with all those barges in 24 hours, they could get 1.5 million gallons in 24 hours, and over a month 40+ million. Lets them do their job in LA!!!

ConservativePartyNow on June 18, 2010 at 2:47 AM

Just go out and do the job…Tell the feds to pack sand…They only can exercise the power we allow.

JIMV on June 18, 2010 at 3:24 AM

It’s much easier to clean up oil, if one dilutes it with a little bureaucrat blood.

Kralizec on June 18, 2010 at 3:27 AM

There is no evidence that there was not adequate fire extinguishers, and life vests on board. The Coast Guard assumed guilt.

Forget about asking for forgiveness. Demand compensation for doing the the job that the feds were supposed to do.

Slowburn on June 18, 2010 at 5:30 AM

I think we need to set up another commission to review the findings of a blue ribbon panel that is reviewing the current discussions and findings of the sixteen individual bureaucracies charged to review each federal, state, and local level of response that keeps the blame away from Obowma…

Seven Percent Solution on June 17, 2010 at 9:03 PM

All commission heads and committee leaders are to report every six weeks to the faux Nobel Prize winner BHO, who will be found at the nearest golf course.

Can’t wait until the monetary claims start pouring in from all over the Gulf States. Shouldn’t take more than…oh…ten years or so for the people and businesses to be compensated.

It’s just occurred to me that trying to pin down O-Dumbo on anything is like trying to nail jello to the wall.

GrannyDee on June 18, 2010 at 6:10 AM

Jindal is working his butt off, and seems to be pretty much the only politician that wants solutions more than he wants money.

In a sane world, with all the idle fishing boats etc. in the area, it should have taken about fifteen minutes to gather enough life preservers, fire extinguishers and whatever to supply the entire US Navy.

Heckuva job Thad, Janet, Hussein.

LegendHasIt on June 18, 2010 at 6:35 AM

If Obama shut the barges down, it had to have been due to those barges missing crucial pieces of equipment – union cards.

Bruce in NH on June 18, 2010 at 6:47 AM

Funny how the Coast Guard was the first responder rescuing people in New Orleans from the floodwaters after Katrina, yet five years later the Coast Guard is the problem! WTF?

These dimwits have just handed us a gigantic example of everything that is wrong with Big Government. While the liberals sputter about conservatives not wanting to pay for police and libraries, we can show them exactly what happens when government gets too big to get out of its own way and respond to a real disaster.

Could any American have any confidence right now that we could handle something else of this magnitude, say an epidemic, or another terrorist attack – especially a biological one?

rockmom on June 18, 2010 at 7:45 AM

Not to worry…President Obama is going to create a Fire Extinguisher and Life Vests Czar.

Problem solved.

Uniblogger on June 18, 2010 at 7:58 AM

How the flock would the barge manufactures know, years later, if the operators of the Barge has fire extinguishers and life vests on board!

Can’t the CG just go on board and look?

DSchoen on June 17, 2010 at 11:55 PM

I do believe the USCG was just getting their Jones on…

ajacksonian on June 18, 2010 at 8:00 AM

They want to make sure every move my Jindal there is a counter move by the feds so they can say Jindal relied on them to get things done…the last thing Obama wants is for Jindal to succeed.

Beta dogs fear the alpha…

right2bright on June 18, 2010 at 8:29 AM

Here is an idea…Coast guard delivers life vests and extinguishers to the barges…priorities…
That’s like stopping a lifeguard from saving a life because he doesn’t have sunblock on…

right2bright on June 18, 2010 at 8:30 AM

One is lead to wonder after how many actions the Obama administration takes that impede the cleanup that it ceases to look like a matter of administrative competence and looks like something else entirely.

Tongueboy on June 18, 2010 at 9:10 AM

Let us step back. They are doing safety inspections. We don’t know any boats laked safety equipment. They just slowly insopect and make all the boats stop work.
On my local lake, they stop personal watercraft and ask for boat registrations and hassle them for lifejackets.
This day was just to hassle the workers.
The next ordeal is hazmat lisence. All the workers have to show birth certificates, have background checks and get processed for hazmat.
We have city mobsters at the top turning this into a Chicago circus.

seven on June 18, 2010 at 9:12 AM

AP, I read the story, and nowhere did I see it stated that there was a lack of life-vests. It says the Coast Guard needed to verify the barges have life-vests and fire extinguishers.

Please correct…already I’ve observed liberals making the same mistake you made and use it as an excuse to blast Jindal.

The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board…

ynot4tony2 on June 18, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Instead of stopping the skimming, the CG could have brought life jackets or fire ext to the boats. I thought they were there to help not hinder. Just wait til LA and the small people try to get some money back from the, ahem, independent commission. Cross all dem t’s and dot all dose i’s.

Kissmygrits on June 18, 2010 at 9:58 AM

Is the glass half empty or half full. It is a matter of perspective.

Imagine if instead of shutting the barge down for lack of life vests, they immediately called for backup Coast Guard vessels in case of an emergency and immediately ordered 100 life vests from the Coast Guard stores to be transported out. That way the Coastal Rescue could continue.

If you are out at sea and your vessel is sinking. The Coast Guard comes by and only has life vests for 12 of the 13 people, would they just say sorry?

barnone on June 18, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Sorry folks, but the Coast Guard is right, at least as far as the PFDs (life vests) and fire extinguishers are concerned. Coast Guard vessels seldom carry extra PFDs in any appreciable quantities. The leading cause of boating accident deaths is “accidental overboard”. Eleven men have already lost their lives in this tragedy. Let’s not lose anyone else for want of a PFD or a fire extinguisher.

That being said, I still wish Adm. Paul Yost was still commandant!

Jonas Parker on June 18, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Right. Because we always make sure we send in the OSHA inspectors to check out the fire department’s engines and other equipment in the middle of them fighting a 5-alarm blaze……

Idiots!

LooseCannon on June 18, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Just out of curiosity, if they are at sea shouldn’t they be *wearing* their PFD’s?

All it would take would be to *look* at the hands on deck, and they should know if they have them on.

Fire extinguishers would take an actual walkthrough to verify (let alone making sure that every one has a current inspection cert).

Its still a BS excuse to shutdown the efforts to keep the oil offshore. A fire extinguisher in this situation is like an escape hatch on a sub. Yeah, we have them, but how much good would they really do if they needed to be used?

FUBAR is SNAFU in the Obamanation Administration.

NavyspyII on June 18, 2010 at 1:34 PM

So, were there enough vests and extinguishers on board? Coast Guard had the authority, but this doesn’t pass the common sense sniff test.

Gee, why let the locals fight the oil at all? They might break some rules or regulations in doing so at any given moment.

Christien on June 18, 2010 at 1:34 PM

So how would others wish the President would have handled this? If I were President…

Immediately take Air Force One down to my (already established) base of operations by the Gulf. I’d call in the person, his crew, and immediate superior of the group that decided to shut down the barge operations.

“The Coast Guard exists to ‘protect the maritime economy and the environment, defend our maritime borders, and save those in peril’. As of 2008, the Coast Guard participates in the National Response Framework to aid in national maritime disasters. Yesterday, this group decided to pursue a set of actions that prioritized common safety inspections above an ongoing national emergency. Leadership incompetence in a group charged with making life and death decisions will not be tolerated.”

(Turns to the superior.)

“You have 24 hours to issue this man a dishonorable discharge. If you do not, you will join him.”

(Turns to next in command)

“Do you feel it is below your station to locate needed equipment to assist those dealing with a national emergency?”

(Waits for answer)

“You may conduct your safety inspections. But you will not hamper these operations by even one minute. You will locate and obtain for them any equipment they need… even if its only life jackets and fire extinguishers.”

(Turns back to superior)

“In two weeks, I will go before the American people to advise them of the situation in the Gulf. I will be mentioning the actions of the US Coast Guard. I suggest you re-evaluate your priorities, especially over the next two weeks.”

(Stalks out)

dominigan on June 18, 2010 at 1:42 PM

LooseCannon on June 18, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Right. Because we always make sure we send in the OSHA inspectors to check out the fire department’s engines and other equipment in the middle of them fighting a 5-alarm blaze……

Damn! When you put it that way, it makes the Coast Guard sound even more idiotic.

And when I say “idiotic”, I am certainly not referring to the individuals who volunteer. I refer to the bureaucracy that hinders the greatness of individuals…

ynot4tony2 on June 18, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Jindal should’ve just built his barrier islands. It would’ve taken Obama years to move the bureacracy to stop it.

It’s a sign of how overpowering the federal power is when you can’t defend your own state from an environmental disaster.

hawksruleva on June 18, 2010 at 2:03 PM

dominigan on June 18, 2010 at 1:42 PM

That’d be a good way to handle it. But what would your Nobel Prize-winning advisor say?

hawksruleva on June 18, 2010 at 2:05 PM

“The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.” – Oscar Wilde

Benaiah on June 18, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Coast Guard:
“You need life preservers and fire extinguishers on board. Here’s some loaners until you’re back in port.”

vicarious on June 18, 2010 at 2:51 PM

The irony here is that life jackets are for safety.

So what will the coast guard do if you refuse to have enough life jackets?

They blow your ass out of the water.

TheSitRep on June 18, 2010 at 2:53 PM

Good grief! We have Ray Nagin sitting in the White House.

Ha! Good one.

Chocolate Gulf, baby.

NoDonkey on June 18, 2010 at 3:52 PM

Sabotage.

Zero would impound an ambulance en route for having a turn signal out then inform the patient that nobody moves until a tow truck arrives.

viking01 on June 18, 2010 at 7:13 PM

had trouble contacting the people who built the barges.
Have to be certified UNION made or they will sink em?

Col.John Wm. Reed on June 18, 2010 at 7:59 PM

Can’t the CG just go on board and look?

DSchoen on June 17, 2010 at 11:55 PM

That was my first thought. This is either ultra-stupidity and complacency or a petty move against Jindal.

INC on June 18, 2010 at 9:02 PM

The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board…
ynot4tony2 on June 18, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Read the whole thing.
The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board…

So they were trying to contact the manufacture of the barges to find out if the barges had fire extinguishers and life vests on board!

Years after the barges were built and sold the CG is having to contact the manufacture?

This is absurd, this is bizarre, this is an operation that is FUBAR being ran by Captain KickA$$.

DSchoen on June 18, 2010 at 9:13 PM

President of the United States Ray Nagin! Ha ha ha! God help us!

MCGIRV on June 17, 2010 at 10:12 PM

I’ll say, What was Nagin saying he wants to see happen to New Orleans ?
Something about a Chocolate city. Is that O’s big plan for the country. . Not a Chocolate country, But a ruined country third world country.

Texyank on June 18, 2010 at 9:55 PM

Wow! If BP processed claims as fast as Obama’s beaucracy moves here, no one would get paid.

olesparkie on June 18, 2010 at 10:33 PM

The Coast Guard assumed guilt.

All government bureaucracies ALWAYS assume guilt. Welcome to the world of doing business in America. They are not there to say “Hey we brought Life Jackets if you need them.” Shutting stuff down is the only thing they know how to do. People who can – DO, People who can’t – REGULATE!

Pole-Cat on June 18, 2010 at 11:41 PM

If you wanted to know why an oil-spill czar was needed, this is why

BULL An oil czar was never needed. The Coast Guard is tasked with taking the lead according to the National Contingency Plan. The only reason that anyone is dealing with an alphabet soup among other steaming piles of crap is because obama is an incompetent twit. This should have never gotten this bad.

jdkchem on June 19, 2010 at 2:10 AM

Mr. President,

Your lack of leadership is astounding. We repsectfully request your resignation.

The American People.

boomer on June 19, 2010 at 2:33 AM

jdkchem on June 19, 2010 at 2:10 AM

Did you not read the rest of the sentence?

If you wanted to know why an oil-spill czar was needed, this is why — because the red tape is so thick, the only way to possibly cut through it is to, er, add a little bit more red tape and bind up all the loose ends under the authority of a single officer.

I don’t think he’s exactly praising the idea.

boomer on June 19, 2010 at 2:37 AM

Is it just me or did the look on Sawyer’s face say “What have we done?”

boomer on June 19, 2010 at 2:41 AM

My house is burning. My neighbors combine their garden hoses together to fight the fire.
The Fire Chief shows up in a Crown Vic and stops them from fighting the fire because the hoses are not approved and my neighbors have no training.
In the meantime, the Fire Trucks have yet to arrive. The house burns.
What fun.

Army Brat on June 19, 2010 at 6:35 AM

This is not bureaucratic red tape. It’s all designed to allow this to become the biggest disaster possible.

As far as Obama’s concerned, the eleven lives lost on that rig were just the fist few eggs that had to be broken to make his omelette of government control of “big oil.”

The take-over of two industries in six months. Stalin would be proud.

labrat on June 19, 2010 at 9:32 AM

They want to make sure every move my Jindal there is a counter move by the feds so they can say Jindal relied on them to get things done…the last thing Obama wants is for Jindal to succeed.

Beta dogs fear the alpha…

right2bright on June 18, 2010 at 8:29 AM

BINGO!

Wade on June 19, 2010 at 10:14 AM

They only can exercise the power we allow.

JIMV on June 18, 2010 at 3:24 AM

And why can’t we understand this?
States have been letting the feds walk all over them since the Civil War.
Haven’t we had enough?

And I can’t trash the Coast Guard for this.
My dad was in the CG for a little while in the early 70′s.
The military is procedure.
Their Commander In Chief is an ineffectual moron.
True, higher ups in CG command (whoever they are) should be interested in doing the right thing here.
But we have no idea what orders they’ve been given about this situation.
I’m inclined to believe that Obama doesn’t want this crisis to go to waste.

Badger40 on June 19, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Your headline is wrong. They didn’t stop the barges because they didn’t have enough life vests on board–they stopped them because the Coast Guard had not checked to see if there were enough life vests on board and couldn’t be bothered to do it anytime soon.

Kasper Hauser on June 19, 2010 at 1:54 PM

Kasper Hauser on June 19, 2010 at 1:54 PM

Close after re-re-reading it again I looked for the lie of omission in this story and found it.

Nowhere in this story say’s the CG found any lack of PFD and fire extinguishers.

Finding NO lack of PFD and fire extinguishers, the C.G. Obama (I’m in charge), keeps the barges in port while the C.G. check with the original manufactures of each and every barge to confirm the PFD and fire extinguishers requirements for each and every barge based on the year of manufacturing and the country of origin of each and every barge.

Now I know, as do 99% of the people who read this story, that this was purely a political power play by Captain Kicka$$ (Obama).

Apparently Captain Kicka$$ doesn’t like to be shown a fool. Apparently he’s not good at that either cuz he really does look a fool now.

DSchoen on June 19, 2010 at 4:15 PM

This is insanity. Our government has become completely dysfunctional. America isn’t likely to survive.

Bugler on June 20, 2010 at 11:07 AM

We can’t allow this to distract us from the real task at hand. Denunciations of Joe Barton must continue apace.

/Charles Krauthammer

Bugler on June 20, 2010 at 11:13 AM

I’ve always wanted children. I’m thankful now that I don’t have any.

Bugler on June 20, 2010 at 11:30 AM

^^^^^^^^^^^^^

don’t think that that isn’t a goal either

Sonosam on June 20, 2010 at 7:31 PM

It’s much easier to clean up oil, if one dilutes it with a little bureaucrat blood.

Kralizec on June 18, 2010 at 3:27 AM

I am sensing some righteous anger here and I like it! Thomas Jefferson does, too. Getting better all of the time!

Sherman1864 on June 21, 2010 at 7:40 AM

The federal government has left the world of the merely incompetent and has now entered the realm of utter stupidity.

Dave R. on June 21, 2010 at 12:30 PM

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