Marine authority training for potential pollution event on the Sefton Coastline
This morning, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) commenced ‘Exercise Coldstart’ on Ainsdale’s shoreline to test their contractor response to a potential oil spillage event.
Councillor Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “We’re urging people not to panic. The exercise is not real – but it provides a unique opportunity for us to help other agencies like the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to test their plans and will provide a wealth of insight and mutual benefit to Sefton and other Merseyside coastal Local Authorities in terms of ongoing shoreline pollution response and recovery planning.”
Above: the rig off Ainsdale pictured a while ago.
Ryan Carter, Resources and Claims Lead for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s Counter Pollution and Salvage Branch, said: “Every year the MCA undertakes exercises with our partners across the country from ports, harbours, councils and other agencies to test our oil spill response. Today’s exercise is a ‘cold callout’ whereby we test our Oil Spill Response Tier 3 contractors, without giving them notice. We are very fortunate to be working with Sefton Council and their Green Sefton team in this area and shoreline around Ainsdale Beach. During the exercise, there will be no actual pollution present.”
How likely is a catastrophic oil spillage on Ainsdale’s wildlife-rich shoreline?
Moreover, have the Environment Agency and other relevant organisations considered the risks and made appropriate contingency plans?
Pat Regan ©