MARPOLEX conducted a drill on a vessel in distress, oil spill, and firefighting responses

The Philippine Coast Guard vessel
The Philippine Coast Guard vessel
The release of the oil spill booms in response to the oil spill drill.
The release of the oil spill booms in response to the oil spill drill.

The Marine Pollution Exercises 2024 participated in by the Philippine Coast Guard, Japan Coast Guard, and Indonesia Coast Guard staged a drill on a vessel in distress, an oil spill scenario, and fire fighting responses held on the shores of Bacolod City on June 26, 2024.

This exercise is designed to test the response strategies of these three countries in major oil spill incidents or to a tier 3 level incident involving more than 1 million liters of an oil spill or tier 3 response. 

Leading the exercises were several Coast Guard officials led by Philippine Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Ronnie Gil Gavan, Indonesia Head of Delegation Rear Admiral Jon Kenedi, and Japan Coast Guard Head of Delegation Rear Admiral Kanosue Hiroaki with Vice Admiral Roy Echeverria, Commander of the Marine Environmental Protection Command designated as the PH Exercise Co-Director and his counterparts Laksamana Ahmad of Indonesia's Directorate of Sea Transportation, Capt. Sase Koichi of the Japan Coast Guard and Capt. Weneil Azcuna, Commander of the Coast Guard District of Western Visayas, the host of this exercise, served as the Task Group Commander.

They had responded to a given scenario where a passenger vessel suffered from a steering casualty while approaching the motor tanker simulated by a tugboat SADR as the distressed vessel at 8.3 nautical miles from BREDCO Port.

The distress vessel immediately sent an emergency distress signal to the Philippine Coast Guard.

The Chief Controller directed the air operations controller to conduct Aerial surveillance to verify the veracity of the said emergency.

They executed firefighting combat to extinguish the blaze by spraying water cannons from the responding sea vessels. Passengers were also rescued during the operation.

In the oil spill response, there was a combined effort from the three participating countries to combat the oil spill.

The vessels were equipped with oil spill response assets such as booms, skimmers, and chemical dispersants, which the responding teams applied and executed.

They have performed the layout of the oil skimming nets by two small boats.

The oil skimmer was designed to clean up the spilled oil as it separates the liquid from the oil floating on it. The machine can handle a high volume of contaminated materials. The sooner the oil spill containment, the more successful it will be.

The entire exercise ended with passing honors for the participating vessels such as tugboats SADR, Arcturus, Vega, KN Trisula, BRP Cape San Agustin, BRP Habagat, the Tsugaro which is a helicopter-capable patrol vessel, the Japan Coast Guard vessel, Philippine Coast Guard vessels and the Indonesia Sea and Coast Guard vessel.

Speedboats participating in in the oil spill drill.
Speedboats participating in in the oil spill drill.
The Japan Coast Guard vessel
The Japan Coast Guard vessel

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