Istanbul Oil Spill National Exercise- 2011 – Sep 28, 2011

The Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) attended the Istanbull oil spill national exercise which took place on 29 September 2011

On 28 September, a conference was held in Istanbul to introduce the National and Regional Contingency Plans, the İstanbul Oil Spill Exercise & Emergency Response Centers, the Claim System for Oil Spill Casualties and the Oil Spill Response Operations. REMPEC provided an overview of the  Mediterranean strategies for preparedness for and response to marine pollution. The National Contingency Plan was then tested during a table top exercise before the drill. The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and the Oil Spill Preparedness Regional Initiative (OSPRI) also attend the conference and the drill.

On 29 September, the Istanbul oil spill national exercise – 2011 was organised by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization and the Ministry of Transportation-Undersecretariat for Maritime Affairs (UMA). H.E .Mr. Huseyin Avni Mutlu, Governor of Province of İstanbul, H.E. Mr. Erdogan BayRaktar  the Minister of Environment and Urbanization and the H.E. Mr. Binali Yildrim,  Minister of Transportation opened the Exercise in an offical ceremony during which the adoption of the National Contingency was officially announced.

The main objective of the exercise was to test, observe and record the response capabilities according to the most distinctive physical characteristics of the Istanbul Strait.

Rescue ships, tugboats, helicopters and professional divers participated in a major drill in Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait on Thursday to simulate an oil spill at sea caused by the collision of a tanker ship and a passenger ferry.Whilst the first phase of the drill concerned the rescue operations, the second phase was aimed at responding to the marine pollution.

The Bosphorus was closed to all sea traffic for five hours after the drill began at 9:30 a.m.

Some 360 million tons of cargo pass through the Turkish Straits every year, 143 million tons of which are classified as hazardous materials. A total of 141 accidents have occurred in the past five years in the Bosphorus.

(Source Dailynews –