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Oil Spill Exercise in Napier Harbour

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council will have its annual marine oil spill exercise in Napier’s Inner Harbour next week on Tuesday, 7 March 2017. The exercise will be near the Coastguard Headquarters.

“The scenario we will use for the exercise is that a fishing boat has run aground at the entrance to the Inner Harbour. We will be practicing response options to stop any diesel oil spills from entering the sensitive wildlife reserve in Ahuriri Estuary,” says HBRC Regional On-Scene Commander Ian Lilburn.

There will be no diesel oil in the water for the exercise, but the scenario is for a significant diesel spill in the Inner Harbour, with an incoming tide.

Staff will use the equipment they would need in such an event, and practice setting up decontamination zones. The public will be able to see oil spill recovery equipment being used, including booms, skimmers and frame tanks, and the Coastguard boat assisting on the water.

Under the Maritime Transport Act, HBRC is required to respond to oil spills that occur within the coastal marine area in Hawke’s Bay, and is required to run exercises every year.  Staff rehearse in Hawke’s Bay coastal areas where there is potential for marine accidents or spills.   Because of its high use by both commercial and recreational boats, the Inner Harbour is a regular focus for these exercises as Ahuriri Estuary is a key environmental site to be protected in the event of a real oil or diesel spill. 

3 March 2017

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