A training exercise testing the response capabilities of Shannon Foynes Port Company, local authorities and other organisations who operate in the vicinity of the Shannon Estuary will take place at Spanish Point, County Clare, on Wednesday and Thursday of next week (26-27 April).
The simulated event, which is being hosted by Clare County Council on behalf of the Shannon Estuary Anti-Pollution Team (SEA-PT), will centre on a major spillage of crude oil having occurred from an oil exploration platform located approximately 220km off the south west coast of Ireland and oil coming ashore at Spanish Point.
Other parameters for the exercise will include notification that the source of the pollution has been brought under control and that there have been no casualties on the oil exploration platform.
There will be a practical element on site at Spanish Point involving operation and demonstration of equipment while a technical briefing will be carried out on equipment on site for officials.
The second day of the event will consist of the management of a simulated large scale event for senior management of Local Authorities, SEA-PT members and the Coastguard in Clare County Council’s headquarters at Áras Contae an Chláir, Ennis, which will act as the Incident Command Centre.
“Spill simulations are an excellent way to exercise and train personnel in their emergency roles and to test contingency plans and procedures,” explained John Leahy, Senior Engineer, Clare County Council.
“Valuable lessons can be learned from such exercises, which include a variety of participants, such as oil spill management teams, field responders and regulators and community members. Participants will work together in conducting a simulated response to this hypothetical incident in order to demonstrate proficiency and validity of the oil pollution response plan which is in place for Clare,” he added.
Clare County Council has advised that the training event will not be open to the public while the northern end of the public car park will be closed off to the public on 25th and 26th April. However, public access to Spanish Point beach will be maintained throughout the exercise.