Coast Guard drill prepares crew for New England oil spill

Members of the Coast Guard are using new technology to ensure they're ready in the event of another oil spill disaster like the one in the Gulf.

NBC 10 was invited aboard the U.S. Coast Guard ship Juniper as they trained in the event of an oil spill off the coast of southern New England.

Coast Guard member Scott Fabian witnessed the BP Deep Water Horizon oil spill first hand.

On Wednesday, Fabian and a handful of other Coast Guard members trained for a disaster just like the one that hit BP in the Gulf of Mexico two years ago.

They carefully deployed what's called a "fast sweep boom" into the water. Three small floatation devices on that boom suck up oil as the ship moves through it.

Crew members said you have to move extremely slowly while cleaning up oil. Ideally that means moving like this at 1.5 knots or 1-2 miles per hour.

Preparing for the unpredictable is familiar territory in the Coast Guard. Just ask Julia Hardwood. While her family lost their New Jersey home to Hurricane Sandy she was out to sea for two months helping strangers.

"The reason I joined the service was to help people, serve my family and serve my country and that's exactly what I was doing," Hardwood said.

Whether the disaster is man-made or Mother Nature's wrath, these drills keep the Coast Guard ready for even the worst of days.