A training exercise testing the response capabilities of Shannon Foynes Port Company, local authorities and other organisations who operate in the vicinity of the Shannon Estuary, Ireland recently took place at Spanish Point, County Clare.
The simulated event, which was hosted by Clare County Council on behalf of the Shannon Estuary Anti-Pollution Team (SEA-PT), centred on a major spillage of crude oil from an exploration platform located approximately 220km off the south west coast of Ireland with oil coming ashore at Spanish Point.
Other parameters for the exercise included notification that the source of the pollution had been brought under control and that there had been no casualties on the oil exploration platform.
There was a practical element on site at Spanish Point involving operation and demonstration of equipment while a technical briefing was carried out on equipment on site for officials. The second day of the event consisted of the management of a simulated large scale event for senior management of Local Authorities, SEA-PT members and the Coastguard in Clare County Council’s headquarters at Áras Contae an Chláir, Ennis, which acted as the Incident Command Centre.
“Spill simulations are an excellent way to exercise and train personnel in their emergency roles and to test contingency plans and procedures,” explained John Leahy, Senior Engineer, Clare County Council.
“Valuable lessons can be learned from such exercises, which include a variety of participants, such as oil spill management teams, field responders and regulators and community members. Participants worked together in conducting a simulated response to this hypothetical incident in order to demonstrate proficiency and validity of the oil pollution response plan which is in place for Clare,” he said.
By Jake Frith