A two-day area level pollution response exercise, was conducted by the New Mangalore Port Authority in association with Indian Coast Guard, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) and other oil handling agencies off the New Mangalore Port here on Thursday, November 3.
In a communiqué, Coast Guard Karnataka said the exercise was to check and assess the modalities of undertaking pollution response operations and also gauge the efficiency and efficacy of oil handling agencies. It was also look at Port’s ability to to handle instances of oil spill. The pollution response equipments namely Near Shore Booms, Skimmers, Spill Spray arms, which are on board Coast Guard and MRPL vessels, were deployed for containing and recovery of spilled oil.
Commander Coast Guard, Karnataka, Deputy Inspector General P.K. Mishra said the exercise gains relevance because of the sunken vessel MV Princess Miral, off the Mangaluru coast containing 220 tonnes of fuel along with 90 tonnes of engine oil. “Though efforts were underway to extract oil prior onset of monsoon, the raison d’etre of the exercise is to prepare respective organisation’s pollution response team to work in tandem for any oil spill contingency,” he said
The oil spill situation was simulated by rupturing of oil pipe of Single Point Mooring (SPM). A response plan, by taking into consideration the risk assessment, was worked out on November 2. Actual deployment of equipment was undertaken on November 3.
Apart from Indian Coast Guard Ships ICGS Vikram and C-448, the tug Aqua Marine of MRPL were deployed in exercise. Actions as per the standard operating procedure were carried out, the communiqué stated.