The ITOPF perspective (2002)

23 May 2014

The ITOPF perspective (2002)

Dr Karen Purnell

Paper presented at Spillcon 2002, Sydney, Australia, 16-19 September 2002

This paper reviews some of the commonly experienced lessons to be learned during oil spill response. From an ITOPF perspective, good management and co-ordination is the key to a successful response. It is also the area that most often falls short of the ideal when a real incident occurs. Rather than reacting in an ad-hoc fashion following a major incident, quiet periods should be utilised to review past oil spill experiences, update contingency plans and train personnel as part of a sustainable programme of improving preparedness. Although some may argue that there is no substitute for the real thing, in a climate of declining frequency of oil spills, training and exercises are important for teaching the basics of oil spill response and ensuring that a constant preparedness is maintained. Previous incidents provide the ideal opportunity to supplement this training, inject realism, and hopefully, promote better understanding of the practicalities and limitations of oil spill response.

Categories: Spill Response, Papers