UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency event in North Sea observed by Tristan's UK Representative.

Oil spill exercise reaches out to Tristan da Cunha

From Tristan Government UK Representative Chris Carnegy

The UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) included Tristan da Cunha in a chance to witness their 'heavy deployment' pollution-control exercise on 11th October.

Chris with MCA Chief Executive Virginia McVea on the RIB Ariel with the boom in the background.

The scenario was an oil spill off Aberdeen, and showed how multiple vessels deploying specialist booms would respond to such an incident in UK waters. Tristan da Cunha's resources are very different, but the lessons of preparedness and rehearsal hold true for everyone. Another lesson was about how to react when things don't go according to plan: the practicality and flexibility of Tristanian seafarers will always be crucial.

Vessel Seagull IV with boom

MCA spotter aircraft over the North Sea oil spill exercise.

Oil catching boom deployed from JIF Worker

Support vessel Ariel alongside at Aberdeen with skipper Jez Robinson.

With UK funding, the MCA provides support for Tristan's maritime compliance.


Editor's Footnote

On 16th March 2011, the bulk tanker MV Oliva ran aground, sank and was wrecked on Nightingale Island with a subsequent fuel oil leak. On 15th October 2020 the fishing vessel MFV Geo Searcher sank and was wrecked off Gough Island after colliding with a submerged rock outcrop. It is not known whether there was any oil pollution from this incident, but the modern Tristan community is acutely aware of the continuing risks of oil pollution to its pristine marine and coastal environment.

Information on both these incidents can be found using the search facility top right and in editions of the Tristan da Cunha Newsletter.