Coast Guard Readies 2,000 Private Vessels to Fight Oil Spill

New Orleans, La. – The Coast Guard will be outfitting the smaller vessels with communication and tracking equipment needed for skimming operations.

"This is something that is on a scale that far exceeds anything we've done on a domestic response before but it's also an indication of the willingness and the passion of local people to get involved and help us in this clean up. So the whole issue moving forward is going to be unity of effort."

Allen says the boats will be deployed as far as 15 miles offshore. He says three more aircraft have been sent to the New Orleans region to help keep track of the spill. Allen says he wants a clear command structure set up by next week.
For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.