Coast Guard's vice-admiral reviews preparedness of pollution response exercise

Written By Unknown on Kamis, 12 Desember 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The highlight of the exercise the fifth edition of National Level Pollution Response Exercise (NATPOLREX-V) conducted by the Indian Coast Guard on December 10, off Mumbai, was participation of India's first Pollution Control Vessel (PCV), Indian Coast Guard ship Samudra Prahari and integration of Air Force into the Oil Spill Disaster Management System for aerial assessment/delivery of oil spill dispersant (OSD) for mitigation of the spilled oil.

Vice-admiral Anurag G Thapliyal, AVSM, the Director General, Indian Coast Guard reviewed the preparedness of all agencies during the exercise.

An indigenously built vessel, Samudra Prahari displayed her versatile capabilities to contain and recover spilt oil within a short span of time, while the Super Hercules C-130J displayed its capability to mobilize at short notice and its ability to cover a very wide area, thereby assisting in mitigating the spill.

Further, the exercise was also witnessed by the five Coast Guard Officers of Sri Lanka and five Officer of Maldives National Defence Forces Coast Guard Maldives. This exercise was the culmination of their two weeks training as part of the Trilateral Training Programme. These officers were trained by the ICG in International Maritime Organisation (IMO) levels I and II curriculum for over two weeks, which commenced on November 24.

The Indian Coast Guard had assumed responsibility of protecting marine environment in her maritime zones on March 1, 1986, when these responsibilities were transferred from Ministry of Shipping. Subsequently, the Coast Guard prepared the National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOSDCP) for combating oil spill disaster at sea, which was approved by the committee of secretaries in the 1993. The Coast Guard has also established three Pollution Response Centres at Mumbai, Chennai and Port Blair. The Organisation has a capability to respond to oil spill up to 10,000 tonnes with assistance of various agencies.

NATPOLREX-V accomplished its objective of testing the level of preparedness and coordination between various resource agencies to respond to a marine oil spill invoking provisions of NOSDCP. The exercise assumes significance in the wake of past incident of oil spill caused by MV Chitra off Mumbai a couple of years back and more recently breaking of MV MOL Comfort which threatened the fragile eco system of our coast line.

The key role played by Indian Coast Guard in safeguarding the maritime environment from Oil spills been duly recognised and the ICG was recently awarded with the RBS Earth Hero Award 2013 in the Earth Guardian category.

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