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Source: Hong Kong Government special administrative region

Oilex and HNS exercises test marine pollution responses (with photos)
Oilex and HNS exercises test marine pollution responses (with photos)

     Two annual marine pollution joint response exercises, code-named Oilex 2020 and Maritime Hazardous and Noxious Substances (HNS) 2020, were conducted by various government departments this morning (October 28) off Pearl Island, Tuen Mun, to test their marine pollution responses in the event of spillage of oil and HNS in Hong Kong waters.      In the test scenario, an oil tanker collided with a container vessel, leading to fuel oil spilling from the oil tanker and five containers loaded with ethanol falling overboard. Subsequently, an oil spill response team arrived at the scene and cleaned up the spilled oil on the sea surface. The Fire Services Department (FSD) and other response groups were also tasked at the scene to contain and handle the probable spilled ethanol as necessary to prevent threats to the nearby environment and facilities.      In the exercises, various participating parties carried out a series of simulated response actions. After the simulated oil spill, the oil tanker anchored to the south of Pearl Island, Tuen Mun, and a salvage team transferred the fuel oil from the damaged tank and patched up the leak to stop further oil spillage at the source. An oil combat team deployed floating barrier booms to encircle the oil tanker and set up barrier booms in the vicinity to prevent the spill from spreading. The exercise also simulated the spraying of oil dispersant with water from pollution control vessels and a Government Flying Service (GFS) helicopter onto oil on the sea surface, as well as the use of oil skimmers and other equipment. In combating the simulated HNS spill, the response groups lifted the damaged containers out from the sea to stop the pollution at source.      The joint response exercises were co-ordinated by the Marine Department and the Environmental Protection Department. The participating government departments and organisations included the FSD, the GFS, the Hong Kong Police Force, the Government Laboratory and the Civil Aid Service, as well as several oil companies and a pollution control company jointly formed by them.      The response exercises not only provided hands-on experience for response members, but also helped relevant parties adopt an effective emergency response strategy for preventing pollution according to the properties and extents of spilled substances.

Ends/Wednesday, October 28, 2020Issued at HKT 19:42


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