Emergency Table Top Exercise Achieves Slick Results

From Jersey Coastguard,
29 October 2015

Representatives from Jersey Harbours, Jersey Coastguard, States of Jersey Emergency Planning and the Island's Environment Department carried out a staged environmental pollution exercise on the morning of Wednesday 28 October 2015 to trial procedures in place for dealing with a similar real-life emergency incident.

With participation from Oil Spill Response Limited, the largest international industry-funded cooperative, which exists to respond to oil spills anywhere in the world, the table top exercise scenario involved a visiting survey vessel, which had released 40 tonnes of heavy fuel oil (HFO) two miles off the South-East coast of Jersey following an incident on board.

Captain Philip Buckley, Jersey Harbour Master said, "These exercises gives us the opportunity to work closely together and test our resources with key agencies that would be involved in a real life situation and ask the question of 'what if?' Through accurate charting by our Senior Marine Officers, we were able to track the direction and time period of the spreading 'oil slick', enabling us to respond in an appropriate manger and therefore keep damage and pollution to a minimum."

Through constant communication and input from other States of Jersey departments a plan of action was initiated, which would result in Ports of Jersey tug Duke of Normandy and pilot boats restricting the oil through containment booms to hold the spill in place while Transport and Technical Services worked to clear the oil from the beach.

The three-hour exercise demonstrated areas in which the processes worked well and highlighted areas where improvements could be made, ensuring should something of this nature occur, the appropriate agencies would be in a position to react.

Jersey Coastguard