Simulation of major sea incident set for Mablethorpe

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A major sea and shoreline pollution incident will be simulated in Mablethorpe and Lincoln this month.

Lincolnshire Resilience Forum and Humberside Resilience Forum, made up of local authorities including Lincolnshire County Council, East Lindsey District Council, the Environment Agency and emergency services, will team up to test how they deal with a large scale coastal pollution incident on November 21, 22 and 23.

The local response plans will be tested alongside a national government exercise which will test its national oil pollution plan for an at sea and onshore incident.

The national exercise, named Grey Seal, will involve more than 60 public and private sector organisations, including the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), DfT, the Environment Agency, Shell International Trading & Shipping, P&O Ferries and ABP Humber.

Ian Reed, emergency planning and business continuity manager at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “This is a great opportunity for both national and local organisations to test their readiness and their preparations for a major environmental incident, without actually causing any harm to the environment.

“It also allows us to engage with our partners, and to validate plans and procedures.”

Colin Mulvana, exercise director from the MCA, said: “The UK has an excellent record for managing and responding to the risk of major pollution incidents at sea and around our shores from shipping and the offshore oil and gas industry but the potential risk to the UK remains real.

“Over 500 million tonnes of UK goods and 21 million passengers travel by sea every year.

“It is vital that we continue to test our response capability.

“Exercise Grey Seal will allow us to test the response to oil pollution at sea, where monitoring and clean-up is overseen by the MCA and then how to best support regional responders who are responsible for dealing with oil once it has come ashore.”

The exercise is expected to run between 8am and 4pm.