The Oil spill exercise facilitated by Niue’s Bulk Fuel drew in a large crowd last Tuesday at the Niue Golf & Sports club with many government sectors in attendance as with community members.
Key spokesperson and facilitator George Valiana welcomed everyone before allowing the Director General Andre Siohane and Lynsey Talagi in separate presentations elaborate on the national plan and relevant conventions as with steps to accommodating gaps.
Discussions and queries were highly robust pertaining to oil spills in general – both minor and major including the situation analysis, operations teams and response mechanisms.
Concerns were rife around the number of yacht incidents and especially post wreckage and that of environmental damage to the likes of the distant Beveridge Reef – what accountability do the owners of these vessels have for damage left to Niue? Activities on a Sunday and emergencies via entry on private land were also discussed.
Chief of Police and Emergency Operations Centre Controller for the National Disaster Management Office Tony Edwards clarified key points for structural responses to disasters informing also that legislation relevant for the NDMO is in final draft with difficulties experienced already having dealt legal and financial issues surrounding the yachts.
Despite the gap since the last Bulk Fuel training it certainly is warranted and timely owing to the most recent wreckage and assistance to yachts in particular in previous weeks. One yacht was wrecked at Liku and one recently sunk 3 weeks ago 43 miles offshore while one other was towed.