24/05/2018 01:39 PM
Port Authority of NSW's marine team help with emergency exercise in Auckland
Maritime New Zealand invites Port Authority's marine operations team to Auckland to assist with full-scale emergency training exercise.
An emergency exercise simulating a significant oil spill took place in Auckland, New Zealand late last month and Port Authority was invited along to observe the response and provide expert advice to participants.
The emergency exercise held by Maritime New Zealand brought together 90 personnel from a range of emergency and government organisations to test developments and improvements in response strategies to major maritime incidents.
Image: All hands on deck in the incident control room
The exercise scenario simulated two ships colliding in Auckland Harbour and causing a significant oil spill. Responders were put to work to contain and clean up the spill to practice for the real thing.
One of Port Authority’s Sydney port officers, an emergency response trainer and a member of Australia’s National Response Team, worked with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) personnel as independent observers across the three-day event.
Image: The exercise saw a clean-up operation that was practice for the real thing
Observers look at what works well in an emergency exercise and identify areas where processes could be improved. They provide feedback to the incident management team on everything from response coordination and the resources employed to communications, skill levels and WHS issues.
Across the three days, the Port Authority contingent observed all areas of the operation including the on-water deployment of boom and skimmers, worked alongside the response team as they set up decontamination facilities and began cleaning up affected areas, inspected the oiled wildlife recovery centre, and took to the skies for an aerial observation.
Image: The observer team gets ready or take off
One of Port Authority’s key roles is protecting the ports and harbours of New South Wales and responding to maritime incidents such as oil and chemical spills in the marine environment.
Port Authority’s highly trained emergency response team responds to more than 200 reports of marine pollution each year and provides personnel to both the State and National Oil Response Teams.