AN NATIONAL oil spill response exercise in Port Moresby has better prepared Papua New Guinea for maritime disasters, participating agencies have said.
PNG’s National Maritime Safety Authority and Singapore-based training provider Oil Spill Response led the exercise in Fairfax Harbour last month.
Chartered bulk carrier Kumul Arrow and French Navy ship D’Entrecasteaux were part of the scenario. Pacific Towing, PNG Ports VTS, Puma Energy and St Johns Ambulance also participated in the exercise.
The staged scenario involved a containership experiencing a blackout, temporarily losing control of the steering and colliding with a bulk carrier anchored in the port.
The impact would damage the bulk carrier’s hull and cause 1000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil to spill from the fuel tank into the harbour.
The hypothetical situation also required a medevac response for a crewmember with a head injury.
Pacific Towing marine operations manager Gerard Kasnari said he believes PacTow and other participants are better prepared to handle a major spill in PNG.
“Both the theoretical and practical training were valuable in improving participants’ understanding of the different response techniques and enhanced their appreciation of all aspects of oil spill response,” he said.
The National Maritime Safety Authority acknowledged participants’ professionalism and enthusiasm during the exercise.
The National Maritime Safety Authority plans to budget additional oil spill response exercises for 2023.