Skip to content

BP Vessels of Opportunity Program

by admin on June 11th, 2010

BP’s vessels of Opportunity program has been closed for over a month, but as oil continues to threaten Mobile Bay, the Mississippi Sound, and the Florida Panhandle, BP and it’s point man on this program Parsons Corporation have been actively seeking new vessels to enroll in the program beginning around the first of June. The number of boats here in the local harbor enrolled in the program has ballooned from two to over a hundred in the last week. And this seems to be repeated in harbors along the Northeast Gulf.

To qualify for the Vessels of Opportunity Program there are some minimum requirements:
U.S. Coast Guard dock side inspection.
Meet crew requirements for given vessel’s size.
Minimum 4 hour training class administered by Parson’s
They are trying very hard to give locals first shot at these programs.

Many participating in the program have been asked to pass a simple physical and a drug screen, though apparently not everyone.

Pay rates have been widely reported as follows:
Rates are $200.00 a day for an 8 hour work day for all crew members (captains and deckhands) plus a vessel fee of $3,000.00 for a vessel greater than 65 feet; $2,000.00 for a vessel greater than 45 feet to 65 feet; $1,500.00 for a vessel greater than 30 feet to 45 feet; and $1,200.00 for a vessel less than 30 feet. Captains may pay deckhands additional fees out of their vessel fees if they so choose.

BP say in there most up to date news release that some crews may be paid more based on their scheduling, and that crews working an assigned night shift will be paid for twelve hours, though I am told at least locally, there are currently no night operations.

The simplest way to apply is to call 281-366-5511. Yeah, I know, why isn’t it a toll free number? I sent BP an email, but I got a feeling they got bigger things on their plate.

I will attempt to keep an up to date list of upcoming Vessels of Opportunity training classes for Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below and I will attempt o get an answer from the local Parson’s people. Good Luck!

  1. Deborah Reynolds permalink

    We have been enrolled in the Vessels of Opportunity Program for approx. 1 month. We have attended the 4 hour safety course and are ready to go to work. We have a boat approx. 30′ long and are eagerly awaiting depolyment. We are lifetime Mobile Al residents.
    Also, I was informed that I could not bill for the training for our 2 captains and 3 deckhands until I bill for our first of actual work in the Gulf. Will we still receive payment for the 4 hour training if we are never deployed.
    Thank you for your response.

    Deborah Reynolds
    251-367-5361 or 251-367-5583

    • admin permalink

      I left an email with your phone number with the Parson folks, the answer seems to be you will be able to bill either way, but they were of the notion that every boat they could find was being called up to help in Perdido and Pensacola bay. He will probably give you a call and get your MOB number to see what is going on. Good Luck.

    • DebDD permalink

      Actually Deborah…you’re not ready to work. I suspect the 4 hour course you took was to get your PEC card. That was a start. Now BP and the USCG is requiring every boat have a Hazwoper40 aboard. Those course are 40 hours and are given by BP, subcontracted to Parsons at no cost to the trainee. Although the classes are hard to get into now. But Good Luck! BTW…on a 30 foot boat you can only have one captain and one deckhand aboard the boat when working.

  2. Alan Taylor permalink

    I have been trying to get involved in the Vessels of Opportunity Program for several weeks with no luck. Have called the number you have listed several times and all I get is the run around. I am local resident of Gulf Shores Al. I have 2 boats that could be used and I have my yellow card. I am getting very frustrated. I would appreciate any help you could give me.

    Thank you,
    Alan Taylor

    • Alan Taylor permalink

      I would really want to get involved in Voo program I am eager to help get this oil mess cleaned up. Please contact me with any information you my have to help me get involved. I’m ready to get to work.

      Thank you,
      Alan Taylor
      2380 Wallace Circle
      Gulf Shores Al. 36542

  3. jonh barnett permalink

    OK,So we signed the contract, got our yellow card,took the boat down to dog river, in Mobile al. worked a couple of days,then we were told that our mob numbers were not on there new computer program sheet.they told 42 boats that they were not suposed to be working. I need any help that you can give me. Thanks for your time, john barnett

  4. Nina C Harris permalink

    We have 2 boats that might be used in spotting cleanup areas around Mobile bay , the Delta or any of the rivers. How do I go about getting them registered with VOO?

  5. jonh barnett permalink

    JOHN BARNETT 251-402-9386

  6. Ryan Gray permalink

    I have called deepwaterhorizion people and registered my boat granite I am a Missouri Resident. The representative said I got my registration in along with 4 good friends of mine. She made it sound if we should get a call with training info and a M.O.B # it has been 3 days and nothing, I have tied up all lose ends and am waiting for mobalization. Do you know if this is all a crock or am I really going to be getting a call?

    • DebDD permalink

      In order to get an MOB number you have to have a signed contract with BP. Which they have stopped taking now, except for boats over 50′. And if you’re from out of the states that were damaged…they are about to start deactivating those boats in favor of locals. As it should have been from the start. And they are requiring a Hazwoper40 aboard each boat now. If you don’t have that you can’t even get on the water. Saw a bunch of boats yesterday get caught in that trap. But good luck anyway.

  7. Alan Taylor permalink

    I was told by Bp they were only excepting boats 50 feet and larger now. Locals are supposedly to be hired first. I’m local resident of Gulf Shores Al. trying to get involved for a month and I have had no luck. Everybody I know that got involved knew somebody. All I have got is the run around from Bp . Like Ryan I was told someone would call me in couple of days but that didn’t happen. I haven’t given up.

    Alan Taylor

  8. allen permalink

    How do you find out where to get the yellow card? I am trying to find local classes in pensacola.

    • johnny permalink

      you need to call unified command for that. so they can arrange 4 hours and 40 hours for you.

  9. admin permalink

    Training Opportunities for Deck Hands and Beach Clean-up Workers
    Local training sessions have been scheduled for residents interested in becoming employed for the response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Residents interested in working on a beach clean-up crew or as a deck hand on a vessel responding to the spill can attend this free training. Training organizers on site will provide information on how to seek employment in these fields.
    Each location will feature two training sessions per day with the morning training at 9:00 A.M. and the afternoon training beginning at 2:00 P.M. The training location schedule is as follows:
    The Larose VFW Hall (located at 2322 VFW Ave., just off West 23rd St. in Larose) will host training sessions on Tuesday, June 8, and Tuesday, June 15.
    The BP Annex (located at 5703 Hwy. 56 in Chauvin) will host training sessions on Wednesday, June 9, and Wednesday, June 16.
    The Grand Isle Community Center (located at 3811 Hwy. 1 in Grand Isle) will host training sessions on Saturday, June 12, and Saturday June 19.

    • PURCELL BIGGS permalink

      Are there any more training dates for deck hands or beach cleanup workers?

      • PURCELL BIGGS permalink


        • GERALD PAVOLINI permalink

          Sorry for the all caps message. Any nw list of dates with classes? Can you go to class if you haven’t been called?

  10. Gerald Pavolini permalink

    I was called on May 27 & 28 and told I was “In Rotation”, today is June 18 and I am still waiting. I am a commercial fisherman and have 3 boats and am ready to work, meanwhile in Pass Christian, MS the only people working for BP VOO are the sportsfishermen with 12′ skiffs and these guys have other full time jobs and are getting $1200/day and I’m getting nothing and have not been able to speak with ANYONE to see when I will be able to work and earn some money before I go broke!

    I can be reached at (228) 697-1014 or thru my friend Barbara at (228)697-3255.


    • admin permalink

      I live herein the Pass, back in Timber Ridge, and I talk with the Parson’s people a good bit. Try them again and if you still can’t get anywhere, zip me an email and I’ll go down and talk to them myself.

      • annette permalink

        I lived in Pass Christian, now in Gulfport, can you please post a number to call for the class that Parson’s offered or when is the next class? Thank’s alot friend from the Pass : )

        • admin permalink

          I can’t seem to find any new classes. They say that they will run some soon, but no firm dates :( Will post when I find them.

      • GERALD PAVOLINI permalink

        I am still waiting to hear from ANYBODY. I don’t want anything for free, I just want a chance to work and earn some money. Can you help me? I’ve called about 15 different numbers and have had not 1 call returned. Even Lisa Houghton hasn’t called me back.

        You said to contact Parsons – who is he and how do I contact him?

        228-697-1014 or 697-3255

        • GERALD PAVOLINI permalink

          I still haven’t even been called to atttend the necessary class and have been told you have to be called to attend.

          • GERALD PAVOLINI permalink

            Still no call back. Any suggestions?

  11. Daniel Taylor permalink

    I also am looking for employment on a boat as a mate in Okaloosa County. I am able to start ASAP, and am a 29 year old physically fit male. Please contact me if you have any openings or know of any.

    Daniel Taylor

  12. found your site on today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later

  13. Jason Bellamy permalink

    I have been offered a job on a boat in the VOO program. The boat owner as well as myself has contacted bp VOO several times to register me for the 4 hour class. I get the run around. I’ve been the first person in line 4 times now for a class that has 120 seats in it but only allows the “magic 40” on their list. Even if someone is a no show they will not take us in.

  14. Tyler Sellers permalink

    Hi, I am looking to deckhand on a boat out of mobile, al. I just graduated college and I am looking to help with the cleanup throughout the summer. Any suggestions? Thanks

    • admin permalink

      Getting on as a deckhand is tricky in the sense that the Captains can hire their own deckhands, and that usually means their friends and drinking buddies. Come down to the harbor one morning, and put up some fliers and introduce yourself around. Tell’em you can show up short notice if they need a replacement. Coast Guard won’t let them sail without proper number of crew, so if somebody doesn’t show up, they got to call somebody. Networking will be the key. Use those college skills. :)

  15. Merlynn Glatfelter permalink

    I applied with Parsons at a job fair the first week in June. The interviewer told us we would be sent to paid training and hired as a VOO Site Inspector soon. I am anxious to get certified and trained ASAP. Can you help me find out when Parsons will be placing inspectors. I have a college degree and am available for 12 hour 7 day weeks. I can travel if necessary. If I need to show up at a dock to seek employment just tell me when and where. Thanks for your help. I can be reached at 251.656.1719

  16. Admin: I came across your website and you are giving good information out to the public! Thanks! I have been working with people from Parsons and Danos & Curole attempting to help VOO Boat Owners with their bookkeeping. I’ve been in business 10 years here on the Coast and I am just now getting my information out to owners. We invoice Danos for them, keep up with 1099 data for crew members, enter receipts, etc. Just putting the info out there. I may see you at one of the harbors sometime, please introduce yourself! ; ) Rick

  17. Miami, Fl
    (786) 663-8913
    Mr. Geovani Gras
    I am ready and willing to work.
    Any Pay, Any time, is all good.

    Please contact me ASAP I am ready to SAIL in a blink of an EYE.

    Whatever you are willing to PAY, I will accept.
    Weigh 250 pound
    Large Build,
    Sailing Experience
    Excellent at SEA
    References Available.

  18. I contacted the VOO about a week ago trying to get information on the VOO program. I need to find out when and where the next class to recieve a yellow card. I have been a life long resident of florida and currently living in destin. I have been working with a vacation rental company for the past several years. Do to the rescent mishap.My work is falling drastically. I have a boat 4 deck hands and ready. Please respond with any information concerning this class.

    I can be reached at my cell(850-855-1829) or (850-460-0227).

    Kim Kennedy

    • admin permalink

      I am getting the run around on new VOOP classes as well, but they all say soon. Will post or email when I find them.

  19. Michael Shade permalink

    I’ve been enrolled in the program for a little while now, looking to make use of our 33′ troller. Is it too late for these sized boats? I’m hearing they’re only accepting 50’+ boats now.

    • admin permalink

      They are enrolling 50 foot boats, but if you have a commercial fishing license make sure and register the smaller boat with Vessels of Opportunity anyway. Keep hearing that they will rotate through to spread the money around to as many fisherman as possible.

  20. Amanda Hutchinson permalink

    Have everything except yellow card and waiting for call about classes. Has been at least two weeks and nothing. in Gulfport MS do you have any info to help me out? Any new VOO classes being offered?

    • admin permalink

      Sorry, they seem to have gotten a little ahead of themselves. Hold on, more classes coming.

  21. Lac permalink

    My father has a commerical shrimping vessel. He wondering where he and his crewmembers would be able to get the training. We hard that its no longer the 4 hours, but a 40 hour course that is needed.

    • admin permalink

      The folks working the beaches are hazwoper certified, that is a 40 hour course. The vessels of opportunity program only calls for a four hour course for captain’s and crew. This could change if your boat was chosen for skimming, or other close contact with oil, bur spotting or looking for oil doesn’t need hazwoper certification. as usual there is some confusion on whether new boats or training will take place. But certainly have your father call the hotline and register, there is some talk that boats owned by fisherman with commercial fishing licenses will be rotated in either as replacements to pleasure craft or as a way to spread the money around more fairly.

      • DebDD permalink

        You have that reversed. Hazwoper40’s are now required on the boats and the 4 hour class was for beach cleanup. It is now mandatory that each boat have one Hazwoper40 aboard. We’ve been doing this for a while now. I have my PEC card (which was a 4 hour course), Hazwoper40 card and Boom training card.

        • admin permalink

          Thanks, Deb, been crazy busy. If I get the forums up and running, would you drop by now and again and see if you could help with some of the questions.

  22. travis permalink

    I have my yellow card and I am on the list for the hazwoper card I am looking to get my boat in the water and i just keep getting the run around I would like to get on a boat in bayou caddy if you know of anyone needing a deck hand for know I have been at the dock everyday and they seem to have the goodole boy system around here and you have to know someone to get a job. can you help

  23. Josh York permalink

    My brother and I have been trying to get on board right here in MObile for over a month. We have the capital to get any size boat needed. We are willing to do anything it takes to get involved.

    My number is 251-767-7461, and my email is

    Again, we have any size boat that is needed. Please help. Thanks and keep up the great work.

  24. Herbert Rabalais permalink

    I have called and registered but am still awaiting a call back for the MOB. I have a 24ft salt water series deck boat with a yamaha 150 in excellent working order that sits 14 persons if needed to transport or what not. I also have two ship mates and are ready to be deployed anywhere on a minutes notice far as long as needed.

  25. alex schaffer permalink

    I am 23 and currently have my yellow card and 40 hour hazwoper certificate. I am available all day everyday. I would really like a chance on someones boat if possible. Please call me at 2282221633. or at
    travel is possible

  26. Richard Williams permalink

    When and where are the Vessel of Opportunity classes being held again. I have a vessel and have already done all necessary except the Vessel of Opportunity classes.

  27. The 40 hour HAZWOPER course is available online, for those looking to work on the beach, however you will still need, I believe, 3 days of hands-on training. I set up a webpage with training information and volunteering opportunities at

  28. Stephen Dover permalink

    I know of a boat I worked on occasionally that has a MOB number and would like to help them out more, but not exactly sure how to get my yellow card to start. How do I register for the class?

  29. Barbara Talley permalink

    A friend of mine spoke wo some Coast Guard guys yesterday and was told that just about 100 miles offshore from Pass Christian the oil was now about 6′ deep and heading this way. Things are so much worse than we are being told. Why can’t theyjust tell thetruth? Our area will NEVER be the sam again after this mess. BP will probably file for bankruptcy and those really affected by this may never see a dime much less live long enough to recover.

  30. melissa doubleday permalink

    I have been looking to get my yellow card, but unfortunately have not been able to find a class in the pensacola area. Does anyone know of a class around here? It would be greatly appreciated. :)


  31. joby sowell permalink

    What is going on with BP vessels!!!!!Put my application in on june 11th!! June 26th called back and Ashley with BP said that they were not hiring.When I just saw on cnn news that they were using vacuum trucks on barges in louisiana.Billy Nungesser needs this equipment!!!I have 40 foot barges,vacuum trucks,storages tanks,ect.Got an email back from alternative responce technology team and they said that my idea not feasible.Nothing about my equipment. Ashley was right BP is not hiring.The said they have 5000 vessels?Please call 205-393-6142

  32. Bobbie Long permalink

    I got my contract back signed, with my MOB#, my captain is 40 hour hazwoper, and already has the 4 hour through pec premier. I have a 21′ boat ready to go. Do you know if they are deploying anytime soon?

  33. shari neumann permalink

    When and where are the 40 hour hazwoper classes taking place in St. Bernard, La. I have been on the list for almost 1 month now, and no one has even called!

  34. anthony garces permalink

    iam a south louisiana resident and 100 ton master. to any vessel owners in the voo program, i am looking for some work. also iam trying to find out when and where to find the next 4hr training class. please contact me at 2253057902

  35. Micheal Martin permalink

    I am a local to the gulf coast in louisiana and i have a boat that went fill out a contract for but i have put that in over a month ago now i have a hou number i have a lot of experience on the water i have my yellow card 100 ton captains license all i need is for my boat to be activated please contact me at 985-691-4232

  36. My name is barbara howard i have my pec card and i take the hazwoper 40 class on monday 7-19-10 and i would like a night shift position with the oil spill jod please respond thanks so much

  37. Billy P. permalink

    R. Perez Environmental & Safety Consultants is holding HAZWOPER40 classes in Shell Beach, LA (St. Bernard Parish). They are not contracted to Parsons but rather are working with U.S. Environmental Services. They are running several classes per week. You can check out their web site at or call them at 504-940-8003. Bobby Perez is the owner and is on site daily. Their facility is at the end of Shell Beach Road across from Campo’s Marina. My experience with them was very easy – probably the easiest that I have heard of yet. Good luck to everyone out there.

  38. I’m a boat mechanic by trade looking to obatin my captain’s license but need more hours on a large vessel i have experience driving up to 80ft vessels I want to get a job with the oil spill clean up if anyone can help me please let me know willing to travel I live in the tampa area 573-286-5993

  39. Wes permalink

    The VOO program is intended for the people who’s jobs were lost because of the oil spill not for everyone who owns a boat to make extra money. I didn’t know it was possable for this many people to be so greedy. The people who really need these jobs are not able to work because of this. These people are having trouble paying their bills and feeding their children due to these people trying to make a little extra money and taking all the job openings. It’s sickening to see this happening.

  40. Shaun Flynn permalink

    What I would like to know, is how overnight companies have been able to get on with absolutly no experience what so ever in the Hazmat recovery and or our waters.

    I am a mixed gas Diver/Supervisor and I work in the region of the Flow( not a spill) and have had no offshore work and have just recently found my claim isn’t being honored at this time.

    Ok so I am home in Panama city, I own a small Diving and Marine co,along with my East coast partner who has a diving and enviromental co with boats. Yet we cannot sign up! Parsons and PQS are out of state hiring untrained and inexperienced personal along with Parsons not having experience, again WTF? I am a native of these waters.

    PQS does this type of work all over the states yet has to compete with co’s for the same money that are inexperienced? Something is amiss here.

    Seems to me there are a great many scams going on!! I was told by one Co that my 40 hour Haz and Wopper and my 80 supervisory are not valid, actually a few Co,s have said this and told me they have to retrain me yet it wont cost me. Well no its because they milk BP FOR THE TRAINING. These are what BP requires us to have before we dive on any of thier rigs and sites, again how is it that these never heard of Cos dictate what I can and cannot have.

    I think when its said and done, quite a few people will have been arrested and sued. I for one am calling the Sheriff and contacting him via face book to find out whats up and who is who in the zoo.

  41. Zack Sullivant permalink

    I live in Enterprise, AL, and i was looking to purchase a boat to help with the cleanup. Do you know if theyre hiring from this area or what type of boats they are looking for?

  42. Bobby D permalink

    i’m from pensacola. looking to get training cert and get to work . 615-335-6868

  43. David G. Monger permalink

    David here. I have my 40 hr Hazwoper + PEC card. I have at least 15 years of construction & supervisory experience on all trades minus electrical/HVAC. I have operated forklift & bobcat. I have worked on boats and with Port Authority as well. I live in the Panama City area. I have been taking care of my father in the Space Coast (east central FL) who’s been ill. He’s better now and am back. I am looking for a temporary or permanant full-time job with the clean-up efforts. I’m even willing to work any offshore or inshore. Since construction has been killing me financially, I’m willing to work for BIG OIL or any offshore company as well if there are no more clean-up jobs left over. I need money to help my father and I. I’m a very athletic individual (strong & fast) with excellent hand/eye coordination. I can pass any strenuous physical. My father has raised me, and now he needs help from me. You will be glad you hire me. I guarnatee it! Thank you. God Bless!


  44. David G. Monger permalink

    PS — Even advise or any measure of possible lead would be of great help with gratitude.

    Thank you, again!

Leave a Reply

Note: XHTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS