Oil spill training exercise in Port Taranaki declared a success

The harbor boom is being driven out by boat in order to contain the fictitious leak.

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The harbor boom is being driven out by boat in order to contain the fictitious leak.

A sunken boat that was leaking diesel and hydraulic oil into New Plymouth’s inner harbor tested port staff and equipment.

Fifteen people, led by Jared Glasgow, commander of the Taranaki Regional Council, responded after the MS Nicola sank in a private marina last week.

However, it was just a training exercise testing the skills and equipment of the staff and no ship actually went down.

The first action taken by the response team, which included representatives from the Taranaki Regional Council, Port Taranaki and local industry, was to stop the “leak” at its source and then contain any material floating on the water.

A 60 meter rapid deployment boom formed a barrier around the area, followed by the port boom with absorbent material that was used to pick up pollutants.

Twenty meters of land-sea boom were used to protect the beach.

Jared Glasgow, Commander of the Taranaki Regional Council, discusses the response plan.

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Jared Glasgow, Commander of the Taranaki Regional Council, discusses the response plan.

Currents, wind conditions, tide patterns, water temperature and sea traffic all had to be considered during Thursday’s training exercise, which was a success, according to Bruce Pope, Compliance Manager for the Taranaki Regional Council.

“These training exercises ensure that we are ready for real incidents,” he said.

“They are an important part of our ability to react quickly and effectively.”