In May 2015, ITOPF was asked by Skuld P&I Club to take part in an oil spill response exercise organised by the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) in Sandnessjøen, Helgeland district, Northern Norway. Two members of the ITOPF technical team, Dr Franck Laruelle and Romain Chancerel, attended the exercise on 6th May. The scenario was the loss of 1,200 tonnes of HFO from a tanker in an economically and environmentally sensitive area of Northern Norway. The exercise was designed with the specific objectives to:
· familiarise the different stakeholders involved in response operations with the provisions of the national contingency plan at different levels of the response (Incident Command and On-scene);
· test national response capabilities in a particularly sensitive area;
· test public - private cooperation during response operations; in particular cooperation with the shipowner during the salvage and response phases; and the partnership with local fisheries chartered to undertake at-sea response in the region;
· identify any other weaknesses regarding salvage and pollution response operations.
The exercise was conducted from Sandnessjøen where the Incident Command was set up as well as in the field where full scale at-sea and shoreline operations were conducted. Romain was on board the observer vessel, whilst Franck attended the NCA command centre with representatives of Skuld P&I and the shipowner, Knutsen OAS shipping.