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Oil Spill Exercise Off Cape Kidnappers

Please note Hawke's Bay Regional Council is carrying out an exercise - there is NO real event.


Media Release 22 April 2008

Oil Spill Exercise Off Cape Kidnappers

Hawke's Bay Regional Council is involved in an oil spill exercise today with staff testing a pre-planned response and particularly focused on communications around Black Reef and Cape Kidnappers.

The Council is working with Maritime NZ marine pollution response team, Department of Conservation wildlife specialists, Coastguard and the Port of Napier to action a response to a supposed “oil spill” off Black Reef.

The personnel involved in the spill are testing the set up of a response centre, communication links, wildlife response and clean ups, and radio communications. Testing communications around the Black reef and Cape Kidnappers area is a key activity.

“The Cape Kidnappers area is a nationally important area because of its wildlife and scenic values and we need to know how we will handle any oil spill if it happened around the area in the future,” said Ian Lilburn, who is acting as the on scene commander for the exercise.

Because of the cliffs and lack of road access it is difficult to get into and radio communication is patchy.

“Staff today are testing the use of two radio repeater sites for radio communications between the shore, the boats and the response centre, “ said Mr Lilburn.

Key objectives of the exercise are to avoid having the spill reach the shore where it could have an impact on wildlife and be harder to clean up.

The scenario is that an oil spill was discovered at 7.15am offshore of Black Reef near Cape Kidnappers. Staff are testing the use of aerial application of dispersants and response to any oil that reaches the shore.

Staff from Maritime NZ, the Department of Conservation, Coastguard and Port of Napier are involved in the exercise.


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