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Response services are guaranteed ONLY for Members. Non-members are not guaranteed a response and will be required to sign a Non-member contract. Services and rates differ. Duty managers can be contacted for exercises.

Oil Spill Response Limited Oil Spill Response Limited
News & Media

Successful Completion of Intensive Oil Spill Response Training for New Responders

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Successful Completion of Intensive Oil Spill Response

As part of our Offline Response training for new responders, our team took part in a final exercise at the end of April, concluding the course after 12 weeks of intensive training.

The responders were given a fictional scenario involving a vessel collision resulting in a crude oil spill offshore near the coast of Portsmouth and Chichester in the UK. They were called in on a Sunday at 9 a.m. to respond to the spill. After the operation brief was given and roles were assigned, planning commenced under the leadership of the Incident Manager. ICS documents were filled in, risk assessments produced, SIMA completed, and the equipment they needed was identified and loaded. 

On Monday, before conducting the offshore phase, the team had to present their response strategy and rationale to the client (which in this case was Chichester Harbour Conservancy) for examination. Following the meeting with the client, they then travelled to Chichester where the offshore exercise would begin the following morning. 

On Tuesday, they loaded and boarded two vessels to conduct a successful containment and recovery exercise using the Current Buster, Boom Vane, and Termite Skimmer.

The following day began with a SCAT exercise along the shoreline to assess the level of oiling and utilising the new SCAT App and Virtual Dashboard. In the afternoon the team looked at spill quantification and aerial surveillance.

Thursday was the final operational day, and the shoreline containment and recovery phase of the exercise leading on from the SCAT and SRP drafted the previous day. The shoreline phase started with a SEP to ensure the site was safe for response personnel. The team then transported the necessary equipment from Itchenor Harbour to Cobnor Point and deployed 160m of boom from Cobnor Point.

From this week-long exercise, the new wave of responders learnt the importance of checking tide times and current speeds. They encountered some difficulties regarding strong currents which made the deployment and recovery more challenging at times.

Responder Bronwyn Lee said: “It was a very enjoyable week and gave the team the perfect opportunity to utilise all the skills we'd learnt over the past 12 weeks and additionally come together better as a team.”

Once the course was over, they rehabilitated all the equipment to a response-ready state. The team have all dispersed back to their teams both in Southampton and in Florida as fully qualified responders and reservists, they will continue to keep these skills up to date by participating in (and sometimes running) exercises and training courses.


Oil Spill Responders towing a current buster from vessel during an exercise

Vessel towing the deployed Current Buster.

Oil Spill Responders deployed  a current buster and boom vane from vessel during an exercise

Deployed Current Buster with Boom Vane.