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From | Thursday 17 October 2019

Training exercise facilitated by Adler and Allan tests the firm's oil spill contingency plan. 

ABP’s annual oil spill exercise on the Humber

A fast-paced oil spill exercise has been held by ABP at the Port of Hull.

The annual Humber incident management exercise tested the firm's oil spill contingency plans.

The training exercise, facilitated by Adler and Allan, tested all aspects of the plan from strategy and resources to business continuity, public health and environmental concerns.

Exercise Rotra presented an oil spill scenario in which a visiting cargo vessel had accidentally released 5,000 litres of marine gas oil, due to a ruptured fuel tank, into Alexandra Dock with an estimated 300 litres spilt into the Humber.  The fictional scenario used by the team and was not based on any actual incidents at the port.

The ABP Tier 1 teams tackled the spill with a work boat and oil spill equipment which consists of absorbent pads, booms and waste collection containers. Adler and Allan’s marine response service deployed inflatable booms to create a temporary floating barrier in the water. 

As the majority of simulated pollutant was in the lock pit, there was a focus to create secondary containment around the lock gates before mobilising an ADR regulated vacuum tanker and skimmer system to skim and recover the oil.

The ABP Tier 1 teams tackling the spill.

For the first time in such an exercise, the Humber Marine Control Centre at Grimsby was used, simulating real-time river control throughout the exercise, using a state-of-the-art vessel traffic services simulator. Stakeholders including UM Storage, Siemens Gamesa and Humberisde Police watched the exercise.

David Bray, Adler and Allan’s marine consultancy manager, who assessed the exercise commended the team, said: “The staff at ABP undertake regular training and practical drills. This is clear to see from the demonstrated quick and effective deployments and support they provide to our Tier 2 response teams. 

"The weather conditions were challenging on the day with strong winds but after a dynamic risk assessment, the deployment turned out to be very effective and a notable strategy if a similar situation presents itself. 

"ABP’s Port of Hull has a well-versed response team from the higher command level down to the ground, backed up by significant resources throughout the group. Adler and Allan conduct 25 to 30 incident management exercises every year and the Port of Hull team proved to be one of the best at understanding their roles and responsibilities.”

Gary Wilson, head of marine for ABP’s Humber ports, said: “The exercise response was timely and well addressed by the whole team who mobilised to site within the response requirements. These exercises are incredibly valuable to our operation and the Humber.”