THE Gibraltar Port Authority (GPA) enrolled a number of its key staff to undertake a series of oil spill related exercises during the course of the last week, in conjunction with Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL).
OSRL which is based in Southampton, and with stations world-wide, is what is known as a tier three oil spill response company and is under contract to the GPA. Locally, Brightside Services Ltd is contracted by OSRL as the tier one and two responder in Gibraltar and was actively involved in all of the programmed exercises.
An oil spill in the Western anchorage was the scenario for one of the events, with the GPA and its contracted responders deploying all available kit whilst a shoreline response exercise was also practised, with active participation of trained members of the Ministry of the Environment.
Captain of the port, Commodore Bob Sanguinetti commented that these opportunities “provided priceless training to the GPA and its contracted responders in the event of a major oil spill affecting Gibraltar waters.”
He added that “this puts the GPA and Gibraltar in the strongest possible position to tackle the unlikely event of an oil spill in our bay, and we will continue with our efforts to achieve the highest level of preparedness.”
In support, Minister for the Port, Gilbert Licudi observed that “Gibraltar is fully committed to the protection of its marine environment and these exercises underpin the Government’s robust strategy in this respect.”