There was much interest yesterday from walkers, swimmers and a lone seagull in a hive of activity on Camber Sands.
It was, in fact, a training exercise organised by East and West Sussex county councils – with Rother District Council providing the location – and described as “desktop” training for an emergency pollution incident for local authorities and governmental partners.
The object was to validate plans for such an incident and to learn from it. Lessons learned included the need for additional training on beach supervision and how to handle an incident involving oil pollution.
Although none of the volunteer organisations were involved on this occasion it was admitted that in future help from groups such as Rye Emergency Action Community Team (REACT) may be needed, and to that end, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency will shortly be running their own training days.
A major pollution incident, quite apart from the ecological effects, would be a disaster for the tourism business on which Rye largely depends, so it is comforting to hear that such a threat is being taken seriously and prepared for.
Primary source: Anthony Kimber
Image Credits: Jess Angell .