Maritime and Coastguard Agency plans counter-pollution exercise at Port of Tyne 

Maritime and Coastguard Agency plans counter-pollution exercise at Port of Tyne 

A four-day counter-pollution exercise will bring together the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and partners in the Port of Tyne. 
A counter-pollution exercise warning size at a previous operation in Llandudno (Photo: stock image)

The exercise will be led by the MCA’s counter-pollution and salvage team, backed by national response contractors Ambipar and with other pollution-response partner agencies in support and as observers.   

Responders will be operating in some areas of the docks along the River Tyne and by the beach at Littlehaven from 11-14 July, training and rehearsing their plans by tackling a dummy oil spill. 

Coastguard Rescue Teams and the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre at Humber will be in action as well as a fixed-wing HM Coastguard surveillance aircraft, based at Humberside airport. 

The aim of the exercise is to test counter-pollution equipment on the water, including a variety of floating booms, skimmers and storage tanks used for oil spill incidents. 

Nicola Davies, HM Coastguard Counter Pollution and Salvage Officer, said: “When pollution threatens our shores, it is HM Coastguard’s counter-pollution and salvage teams’ responsibility to assume the lead for at-sea pollution response from shipping or unknown sources.  

“Where pollution occurs within a harbour this responsibility sits with the statutory harbour authority who may be supported by the counter-pollution and salvage team, if required.” 

She added: “It takes practice to ensure an effective response operation which is why the public might see activity from 11-14 July on the River Tyne as we rehearse our procedures and trial new equipment. 

“We’re hoping to iron out any issues and strengthen our teamwork with partner agencies so we stand ready at all times to tackle pollution in UK waters.” 

Alan Feast, Port of Tyne Harbour Master, added: “This is an excellent opportunity for us to work alongside the national response team.  

“The Port of Tyne is able to provide suitable shore and marine facilities in which to train personnel and test their large response equipment.” 


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