Please beware that this is NOT a real disaster, this is an exercise


This exercise is NOT an actual real event, this is a large-scale training exercise which has been created to simulate a real-to-life disaster. The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate effectiveness of remote sensors and to train personnel in the event of an real oil/chemical spill at sea. The exercise was carried out following state legislation in collaboration with four Irish state organisations - Irish Coast Guard, Irish Defence Forces, Local County Council Office (Clare) and Local Port Company (Shannon Foynes). 


Exercise 'Cathach' has begun

The 'Maire Noire', a 42,000 ton oil tanker is reported to be in some difficulty 40nm west of kerry head, Ireland. The vessel is said to have suffered severe damage to the starboard plating and is said to be taking on water. The vessel's master, Mr. Philip Jones, contacted the Irish Coast Guard unit in Dublin just before 10:00 pm on the 14th requesting safe harbour in the confines of the Shannon Estuary and reporting that at this stage there was no assistance required.


Marée-Map1  Noire                Present Location of the Marée Noire                                   Physical Dimensions of the Marée Noire


Supporting Documents Received

National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) have requested and received supporting documentation from the master of the Marée Noire, these include the ships manifest and ships crew list.                            














 The ships master has reported that weather is preventing access on deck for full assessment and that they are concerned over stability and integrity of the ship. Their intention is to proceed towards safe anchorage in the Shannon where they will be met by representatives from Iceland P&I and RINA. Additionally, the ships owners have appointed local ship agent Mullock & Sons Ltd. to help coordinate their arrival.


Clearly visible on the manifest are deck cargo containing chemicals of Formaldehyde (3 TEU) and Acrolein (3 TEU). These chemicals pose a significant danger if spilled into the environment.



Situation Report Issued

The National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) have issued a situation report concerning the Marée Noire, currently in position 40nm west of Kerry Head. The SITREP was issued via the usual channels through the Marine Rescue Coordination Centre in Dublin and has also been uploaded to the European SAFE SEA NET (vessel traffic monitoring in EU waters).


                   Click here to view SITREP                                          Click here for SAFE SEA NET info


Port of Refuge Granted

After complying state legislation and guidlines the IRCG has made the decision to admit the Marée to designated anchorage within the Shannon Estuary under certain conditions.

This decision was taken in order to minimise the potential greater threat to the environment posed by other options.