This Tuesday, staff across Shoreham Port took part in a fast-paced Incident Management Exercise to test the existing Oil Spill Contingency Plan at the Port. This training opportunity tested the planning, resources, and actions of the marine and communications staff with a mock emergency that was based on real-time weather conditions and tides.
Facilitated by Alder and Allen, ‘Exercise Andre’ presented a mock oil spill scenario in which a visiting vessel had accidentally released 2-3 thousand litres of diesel in to the Port water by the Power Station Wharf. Of course, real oil could not be released for the training exercise, so instead over 200 oranges were used to represent the spread of the substance in the water. To contain and remove the substance, marine staff quickly deployed booms that created a temporary floating barrier in the water, as directed by Julian Seaman, Harbour Master, acting as Incident Commander, and Mark Hayes, Marine Operations Manager, acting as On-scene Commander.
The communications team were tasked with notifying relevant organisations, helping build the event timeline, and taking mock calls from local residents and journalists, as well as creating press statements and online updates as they would in the case of a real emergency.
Organisations including Brighton and Hove City Council, Adur and Worthing Council, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Natural England, Environment Agency and the Fire Services got involved to review and offer feedback on the training, as well as board member Joanne Newell, who also took the part of various stakeholder callers.
David Bray, Alder and Allen’s Marine Consultancy Manager who assessed the exercise commended the team: “The marine staff demonstrated quick and effective deployments, with the weather conditions naturally corralling product to make for a successful exercise. Shoreham Port have a well-versed response team from the higher command level down to the ground, backed up by significant resources, making it one of the most effective out of the 25-30 Incident Management Exercises we run every year.”
Julian Seaman, Shoreham Port’s Harbour Master and Incident Commander, commented “Thank you to all of those who participated and supported with the oil spill incident management exercise on Tuesday. I am extremely confident that all emergency services and local agencies went away confident that Shoreham Port are well equipped to deal with an incident of this scale. Well done to all staff for their hard work and enthusiasm on the day.”