Oil spill simulation
How the island would cope with an oil spill could be determined over the next two days in an exercise involving Rubis Energy and the Bermuda Regiment.
Keeping on eye on proceedings is a small group of observers from the US Coast Guard, who are on the island to conduct meetings and provide advice on search and recovery and general maritime enforcement capabilities.
Also on hand will be Rubis affiliates from the Caribbean who have flown in to observe the training and exercise.
The first part of the operation is taking place today at the Rubis Ferry Reach depot while the exercise moves to the Great Sound tomorrow.
Graham Redford, managing director of Rubis, explained the aim of this exercise was to “test all functions of the internal Rubis Oil Spill Response Management System, along with external testing of the island’s ability for an appropriate tiered response in the event of an oil spill. We will be working with Oil Spill Response Ltd (OSRL), a global partner of Rubis.
“OSRL is the largest international industry-funded co-operative which exists to respond to oil spills anywhere in the world by providing preparedness, response and intervention services from a number of strategically placed locations.
“This exercise is part of our continued commitment towards oil spill and emergency response preparedness, and one of the most effective ways of assessing response plans and procedures, determining the readiness of responders, clarifying roles and responsibilities, promoting awareness of potential incidents and preparing for real spill events.
“There will be two days of training; the first day will be on site at our Ferry Reach depot where we will look at notification exercises to test our response process and mobilisation procedures. We will also be conducting tabletop exercises designed to test the risk of our operations and allow for analysis of the incident response along with capability reviews of Rubis’ tactical and emergency management organisation, our personnel capacity and competence, ours and the island’s tiered response arrangements and a capability review of our training and exercise programmes.”
Matthew Simmons, Operations Manager from OSRL said: “A robust exercise and drill programme provides Rubis’ response and emergency management teams with the opportunity to practice skills that will be required in an emergency, to work together closely and develop working relationships with key stakeholders and to make complex decisions. Using a well-designed exercise will test response capabilities including plans, people, equipment and systems.
“This exercise will bring together the key personnel likely to be involved in a real incident, will further develop working relationships and encourage teamwork. Utilising OSRL’s expertise in incident response, we are able to provide exercise and drill development, facilitation, observation and involvement to help test and improve their preparedness and response capability.”
Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Foster-Brown, former commanding officer of the Royal Bermuda Regiment added: “Environmental protection is part of our disaster relief capability, and one which we take seriously and hope to expand, pending the decision by Government on a potential lead maritime role for the Regiment, so we are delighted to support this important oil spill exercise.”
Mr Redford concluded: “The safety, health and security of everyone we work with is of paramount importance to us, so the equipment deployment exercise that will be held on March 3 (tomorrow) in the Great Sound will focus on developing all of the stakeholders’ ability to deploy Tier 1 equipment in a safe and effective way. We do ask that the marine public stay a safe distance from the exercises which, dependent on the weather, will be on the southern side of Morgan’s Point.”
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