Oil Pollution Preparedness And Response Training Delivered To Key Island Stakeholders

Elected Members, staff from St Helena Government (SHG), Solomon & Company (St Helena) Plc, St Helena Airport Ltd, and the Saint Helena National Trust undertook a programme of Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC) Oil Spill Response (IMO Equivalent) Training earlier in the year.

The training was delivered by consultants and trainers, John Tulloch and Harry Jolly, from Ambipar Response.

The training programme was delivered at three different levels, with Level 1 being operational and practical based, Level 2 being tactical and practical based, and Level 3 being more strategic focused.

Level 1 was tailored for persons required to lead a response team following an oil spill, and gave an overview of techniques used to recover, contain, and mitigate contamination following a range of oil spill scenarios. The course involved a variety of interactive exercises, equipment deployment, and theory sessions.

Level 2 provided essential elements to manage and coordinate an oil spill response, meeting OPRC international and domestic legislation requirements. The course was both practical and theory based, involving site visits and practical response equipment deployment. The theoretical aspects of the course covered how to produce and implement an effective contingency plan to avoid detrimental effects on the surrounding environment and resources.

Level 3 focused on response strategies, stakeholder engagement and contingency planning. It was mostly theory based with a number of tabletop exercises which simulated and highlighted some of the strategic management decisions that could arise during an oil spill.

The training was kindly funded by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), as part of the UK Government’s Overseas Territories Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) which is managed via the Governor’s Office.

This important training was another step in the development of St Helena’s Pollution Incident Preparedness and Response capability, and aspects of the training were implemented to assess the impact to the marine environment during the recent leaks from the RFA Darkdale wreck.

Participant of the training, Environmental Risk Manager Mike Durnford, commented:

“The training provided by Ambipar Response has significantly increased the Islands’ capacity to respond to and effectively manage a Tier 1 oil pollution incident. The importance of multi-agency cooperation and working was inherent throughout the course and we must now build upon this in order to maintain and improve the response capacity developed. The highlight of the training for me was exercising response to a mock incident and testing the interaction and communication between Silver and Gold Commands, which is of critical importance during any incident.

“Whilst response capacity building is important, more so is oil pollution prevention, as such I encourage all users of our unique marine environment to consider how their actions, both at sea and on land, could contribute towards a pollution incident and seek to reduce risks where possible, as prevention is better than cure!”

Consultant and trainer from Ambipar Response, Harry Jolly, concluded:

“Ambipar Response are proud to have been involved in building the capability and competency amongst stakeholders within St Helena with a responsibility for preparing for, responding to, and managing a marine oil spill response incident.

“It was evident during the delivery of the courses that St Helena is demonstrating a commitment to enhancing their knowledge and skill sets relating to marine oil spill response, developing resilience amongst key stakeholders and agencies at an operational, tactical and strategic level. 

“All delegates were extremely polite, courteous and welcoming of our trainers and engaged fully with the classroom theory, tabletop and practical exercises delivered. The delegates asked a variety of questions during delivery of the materials and outside of the formal classroom and field setting.

“We would like to note our sincere thanks to St Helena and its people for their hospitality and assistance in facilitating the course delivery during our stay on the Island.

“Everyone was a credit to their relevant department, and we would welcome the opportunity to work further with all stakeholders engaged with throughout the training programme.”

#StHelena #PollutionIncident #Preparedness #AmbiparResponse

SHG

23 December 2022

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470
Email: kimberley.peters@sainthelena.gov.sh