The Maine Responder, a Portland-based oil-recovery ship, is on its way to the Gulf of Mexico to help with efforts to contain the massive oil spill, according to the office of Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine.

The 208-foot-long oil ship on this evening was located off the coast of Long Island, New York. The vessel’s current location can be found at

The vessel is normally berthed at Union Wharf. Portland is the second busiest oil port on the East Coast. Most of the oil imported here is transported via an underground pipeline to Quebec.

BP and the Coast Guard have been using ships to skim oil from the surface of the water. By this morning, the oil spill response teams had recovered more than a million gallons of an oil and water mixture, but much of it is seawater, according to the Washington Post.

The Maine Responder is owned by the Marine Spill Response Corporation, a Virginia-based nonprofit organization set up by the oil industry in response to major legislation that Congress passed after the Exxon Valdez spill.

Pingree in a written statement said that officials have assured her that there are adequate resources still in the area to respond to an accident here. She said other oil spill recovery vessels will remain in Portland Harbor and larger vessels remain “within striking distance.”

On Friday morning, Maine received a request through the mutual-aid compact for the states to inventory its oil spill coordination and remediation resources.

The Department of Environmental Protection – the state’s lead agency for oil spill response – has identified resources including skimmers, storage devices, workboats, booms, pumps, hazardous-materials technicians and geographic information systems expertise.

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