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Environmental response equipment

The Canadian Coast Guard uses specialized equipment to respond to environmental marine spills quickly and effectively. This helps us protect Canada's waters, coasts and coastal communities from marine pollution.

The equipment is divided into 5 categories:


We use a variety of booms to contain and collect pollutants on the water's surface.

Fence boom

Fence booms work best in calm waters.

A fence boom is deployed in a body of water.

Curtain boom

Curtain booms are more effective in rough waters than fence booms.

A curtain boom is deployed in a body of water.

Offshore boom

Offshore booms are used to contain or redirect spilled oil in sheltered and unsheltered waters. They can be anchored in place for a long time, even if there is ice.

An offshore boom is deployed in the water and is containing a small spill.

Small high-speed sweep

Small high-speed sweep is an inflatable boom with an oil collection reservoir. It's used in protected waters such as bays and inlets.

A small high-speed boom sweep is in the water next to a small boat.



We deploy small skimmers to recover oil floating in calm and sheltered waters. We can also use them to collect oil from inside small vessels likely to pollute.

We use offshore skimmers to recover spilled oil in offshore or unsheltered waters.

A skimmer in a large carrying case.

Portable vacuum systems

Portable vacuum systems use suction to collect oil on shorelines and sheltered waters.


Oil recovered during cleanup is temporarily stored in portable containers on land or in water.

Towable fabric bladders

We use towable floating bladders for liquid oil.

Responders are standing on a barge and deploying a towable fabric bladder.

Open top storage tanks

Open top storage tanks can hold oil and oiled debris on land.

An open storage tank.


We deploy mobile incident command posts for the initial response and to manage small to medium incidents. These mobile posts are specially designed trailers. We also use trailers to transport equipment and to deploy crew.

A mobile incident command post.


We also use other types of equipment to support response efforts including:

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