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Oil Spill Training Exercise

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8:14am 12th May 2014

How would Falmouth cope with a major oil spill?

A two week training exercise starts in the harbour later.

It will see Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, and its partners in pollution response, put specialist oil spill training and response plans into practice.

A 280 metre boom, which is an oil-collecting device, will be deployed into the inner harbour off Trefusis Point in Falmouth for two weeks from Monday 12th May.

The clearly visible orange inflatable boom will be laid in the shape of a 'V' with the extremities of the boom marked and lit for mariners to avoid the structure both day and night. The boom will be moored using an advanced computer mooring system and will be monitored throughout the deployment. At night the boom will be illuminated with glo-sticks placed at regular intervals.

Falmouth Harbour Commissioners is responsible for the operation and regulation of Falmouth Port and is required by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to carry out a number of drills and exercises annually as well as a major exercise every three years. Falmouth Harbour Commissioners regularly train for and practice pollution response techniques. FHC will be putting into practice knowledge gained from two European research projects the team is involved in to improve protection of the environment: Oil Spill Prevention and Response at Local Scales (SPRES) and Improvements of Shorelines Defences Against Marine Pollution (ISDAMP).

Duncan Paul, Deputy Harbour Master, Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, said: "Our pollution responders work hard training for incidents and in this exercise we'll put the team's knowledge and skills into action.

"We are looking forward to putting into practice the recent research findings from our European partners so we can further advance the efficiency of response techniques and share best practice. No oil, or any other pollutants, are used or released in any exercises or drills. During the period when the boom is deployed in the water we're asking that mariners navigate with caution in the vicinity, avoiding passing between the south cardinal mark and lit yellow buoy."

8:14am 12th May 2014

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