The Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCGA) and local authorities have responsibility for making contingency plans for dealing with oil pollution incidents around the UK coastline and on two blustery and cold days, November 13-14, some 40 local authority staff and contractors from all over East Sussex were put though their paces in a series of briefings and practical exercises on Camber beach.
To support the course, the MCGA’s contractor, Ambipar, from its Barnsley depot, deployed a wide range of equipment – booms, pumps, logistic and safety equipment – for constraining and cleaning oil spills in a variety of shoreline situations.
No contingency is without significant challenges. In these scenarios there would be significant demand for trained personnel, who would have to be brought in from a wide area. Importantly, more clarity is needed nationally for the storage, movement and disposal of recovered waste, which, even for a small spill, could amount to hundreds of tons. Both these issues were discussed at length by the course.
Colonel Anthony Kimber, chair of the local resilience team (REACT) attended the course to represent local volunteers. He said “it was valuable to be involved. Volunteers could add value to any response by reinforcing MCGA and Rother District Council staff to provide local advice and knowledge”.
Source: Anthony Kimber, chairman REACT
Image Credits: Anthony Kimber .