A technical team of two from the Marine Pollution Response Service at Maritime New Zealand were on the island last week to conduct a series of technical training and an official handover for the oil spill equipment received in April 2020 which took place last Thursday at the Hanan International Airport.
According to Maritime Manager Lynsey Talagi the visit included five key tasks, including Marine Oil Spill Risk Assessment revisit and support, Equipment check and commissioning, On-Scene Commander training, Incident Management Team/Command Team training and Equipment deployment training.
BCN News spoke with one of the Marine Pollution Response Service personnel Mick Courtnell from Maritime New Zealand after the official handover last Thursday.
“The first day here we spent a lot of time refreshing the risk assessment to the island. Predominantly the risk here is passing ships, passing yachts specifically; you do have ships that visit once a month and you do have areas around the island where bulk fuel is stored.”
“We’ve revisited those key areas and we’ve made sure that risk is understood and that there are mitigating plans in place to prevent such a spill occurring.”
When asked about how well and efficiently the equipment will be utilised in the event of an oil spill, Mick says it is well equipped.
“The equipment we’ve provided training on is state of the art new equipment. This is only three, four years old. It’s used in most oil spill environments around the world.
“The benefit of that, if you have had a large spill we have support coming from example New Zealand, people will recognise the equipment they’d be familiar with. It’s very lightweight equipment, the team here have enjoyed training on it, they have transferable skills from their existing jobs and they’ve enjoyed having the equipment,” says Mick.
Maritime Manager Lynsey told BCN News that “oil spills in the region highlights the importance of adequate pollution response arrangements underpinned by pollution prevention, preparedness, response and maritime liability conventions.”
BCN News also spoke with General Manager of Bulk Fuel George Valiana last Thursday.
George said that multiple government departments who are necessary for their department and field of work were also part of the training last week.