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). 

  

Operation on Day2 has begun

Cleanup operations have begun. Large boom equipment has been loaded onto the ILV Granuaile and it has been tasked to operations 2km off Querrin Strand. The tugboat Celtic Rebel and SFPC Shannon 1 have also been tasked to assist.

Clare County Council have gathered shoreline cleanup teams and will be based in the region surrounding Querrin Strand.

 

MAR-ICE has been initiated

Irish Coast guard have confirmed that a number of potentially dangerous chemicals (Formaldehyde & Acrolein), orignally held as deck cargo on the Marée Noire and located at a depth of 15MSW close to five fathoms rock, have began to leak into the surrounding environment.

One of the priority requirements at this stage is an assessment of the risks posed by these chemicals to the public, emergency responder and the environment. As such the IRCG have have initiated proceedings with the MAR-ICE network and are awaiting expert information and advice on the chemicals involved

 

** In close cooperation with the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) and the Centre of Documentation, Research and Experimentation on Accidental Water Pollution (Cedre), EMSA created the MAR-ICE Network in 2008. The idea behind the Network is to provide information and expert advice on chemicals involved in maritime emergencies. The service is available to national administrations 24/7 via a dedicated contact point.

 

Irish Naval Service and Naval Service Reserves keep exclusion zone in effect

The Irish Naval Service and Naval Service Reserves have kept the exclusion zone in effect and have been monitoring the ongoing situation throughout.

 

UAV FALCON surveys Querrin coastal region

UAV FALCON, under developmet in NUIM, has completed a georeferenced survey of Querrin Strand and surrounding area. The high resolution map which has been produced is being distributed to personnel on the shore and will help aid cleanup crews.

  

  

Shoreline response springs into action

Up to 150 personnel have been assigned to help cleanup operation surrounding Querrin Strand. The first tasks were to setup boom equipment, section off Querrin Creek and establish a collection zone.

 

Once completed, cleanup crews got to work and a number of skimmers were to be deployed.

 

IRCG SAR Helicopter on-scene for water sampling operations

The IRSG Sikorsky S-61 has arrived on scene above the oil/chemical slick and have successfully taken a sample of the contaminant for laboratory analysis. Results of this analysis should help confirm the identity of the contaminant chemicals.

 

Granuaile and Celtic Rebel on-scene for boom deployment

The ILV Granuaile and Celtic Rebel have arrived on scene and have begun to deploy 200m of havey boom equipment a large oil/chemical slick outside Querrin Strand. 

 

 

As the area is part of a special area of conservation, popcorn is used to simulate the oil/chemical spill on the surface. The Shannon 1 is brought in to assist.

 

Once the boom equipment has been secured and collection area established, a number of skimmers will be deployed that will help collect the chemicals for disposal.

 

Cleanup operations fully underway both at-sea and on-shore

Cleanup operations are fully underway. 200 metres of heavy boom equipment have been deployed at sea 2kms offshore and a large oil and chemical slick has been contained. The collection of the contaimants is expected to take some hours. 

In addition, Queerin Creek has been protected from the incomming oil using sections of boom and another collection point has been established close to Querrin Strand. Cleanup operations on Querrin Strand is expected to take some time.

 

Querrin live video fed back to command

    

Clean-up operations come to a close

Clenup operations have been come to a close and all collected oil and chemicals from today are being transported. All of the boom equipment is being recovered and no trace of the exercise is being left behind.

All of the injects have been completed successfully and the evaluation of emerging technologies has been finished. The exercise itelf has been shown to be a great success, in spite of the severe weather which was endured.

 

Close of operations Day2

Exercise 'Cathach' has come to a close, all of the personnel are now returning back the command centre in moneypoint. Over the next few hours there will be a Return of Experience conference (RETEX), where issues, suggestions and full evaluation of all aspects of the exercise will be carried out.