Iain Harrison attended the 27th annual BALEX DELTA exercise hosted this year by Lithuania. This operational exercise is undertaken to ensure the co-operation of countries party to the Helsinki Convention (on the protection of the marine environment of the Baltic Sea area) in case of a pollution incident. The host nation is rotated around the Baltic to ensure that every Contracting Party is able to lead a major response operation.
The exercise involved a shoreline deployment aspect, involving 15 operational units, as well as the at-sea response incorporating 15 response vessels from 8 different contracting states. Favourable weather conditions resulted in the successful deployment of pollution response equipment both on and off-shore and showed effective cooperation between all participants. The event also provided a useful forum for discussion and information sharing between contracting states and the wider spill response community.
The exercise will be hosted in 2017 by Russia.