Coast Guard demonstrates oil spill response preparedness

Published: 11 December, 2013 07:52 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon |

A National Level Pollution Response Exercise (NATPOLREX-V), was held 20 nautical miles off the Mumbai coast, yesterday. Story: Vinod Kumar Menon. Pictures: Pradeep Dhivar

Nearly 75 per cent of India’s energy requirements are met by oil that is imported into our country via ships. The threat of oil pollution through maritime accident is omnipresent though.

River booms are deployed in the vicinity of middle ground to mitigate the effects of oil spill in harbour. Booms are being deployed with the help of tugs

The Coast Guard, , plays a crucial role in combating marine pollution. A National Level Pollution Exercise (NATPOLREX- V), was held by the Coast Guard with an aim to demonstrate oil spill response preparedness and showcase the capabilities of the Indian Coast Guard and other resource agencies under the provision of the National Oil Spill Disaster and Contingency Plan (NOSDCP).

Heli Skimmer Operation Pollution Response Team (PRT) deploys the heli skimmer oil recovery equipment

Situation Generated for the exercise: Clean Sea V. Merchant Tanker Desh Shanti, a 10-year-old tanker of 20,000 gross tonnages, flagged at Liberian while entering Mumbai harbour at 4 am on December 10, 2013, has run aground off Prongs Reef Light.

Two helicopters airborne with TC3 buckets: Pollution control vessel Samudra Prahari, fast patrol vessels Subhadra Kumari and Rajdoot with side spill arms.

The impact has breached the double bottom resulting in leakage of oil from her cargo tanks. Under these conditions the ship’s crew needs to be evacuated, her movement needs to be restricted and leaks need to be plugged. The spill is likely to spread with the current and there may be a fire onboard. The oil spill needs to be contained and fire fighting on board the vessel may be needed.

Oil Spill Dispersant (OSD) Side Spray Arms: The equipment is a ship-borne spray system. The spray arms and the pumping unit are so designed that both arms can be supplied with the correct amount of dispersant required to disperse the oil spilt

Oil Spill Dispersant (OSD) spray by CG Dorniers: Two Coast Guard Dorniers spray OSD from a height of 100 feet in oil spill area. Before the OSD is sprayed two fast patrol vessels from the area churn the water and break the oil film on the surface of the water for greater efficacy.

Deployment of Airborne Dispersant Delivery System: Indian Air Force C-130 J Hercules, flown by Group Capt T J Singh, sprays the dispersant from a height of 150 feet.

Fire Fighting: Samudra Prahari and Samrat demonstrate fire fighting by manoeuvering close to the tanker, and operate the External Fire Fighting system

Rescue Operation: A rescue operation is launched wherein a casualty evacuation from the affected MT is demonstrated by the Chetak helicopter. The helicopter evacuates a person from the deck of the merchant tanker. 

Rescue Operation: Coast Guard Dornier aircraft and IAF Hercules aircraft drop life rafts in the vicinity of the ship for rescue of the personnel adrift in the water

Containment and Recovery: Indigenous Coast Guard Ships (ICGS) deploy various skimmers in the containment areas and demonstrate oil recovery operations

Arresting MT Desh Shanti movement: Samrat passes through the towline to MT Desh Shanti and holds her in position

Side Sweeping Arm: Samudra Prahari demonstrates the recovery operation and collection of debris by deploying its side sweeping arms in the affected areas

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