Maltex 2018

A National Exercise to prevent pollution at sea, Maltex 2018

Transport Malta will be hosting a national pollution response exercise, off Maltese shores, tomorrow.  The scenario purports a large oil spill from a vessel following a collision with another.  The pollution response will involve the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), several local and international entities.  EMSA has made available new equipment from its assistance service arrangement located in Ravenna, Italy.  EMSA has never used this set during a real spill; this exercise will provide a very good opportunity for the operators to get familiar with this equipment and test its deployment at sea.

EMSA have made available new equipment from Ravenna in Italy, which equipment has never been used during a real spill.  The participants in this exercise will thus be testing its deployment at sea. 

As part of the exercise, at 12:50  today, Malta requested international assistance through the EU’s Common Emergency Communication Information System (CECIS).  All stakeholders and participants were notified to put their resources on standby.  

Weather permitting, the actual response at sea will then commence tomorrow at 08:00, where vessels will be deployed at sea to simulate the oil spill.  The scenario will take into account simulated weather conditions with the potential of an escalation.  The information to the participants will be provided as the exercise unfolds.

The aims of the exercise are several.  Maltese responders, from various national entities and private contractors will get the opportunity to exercise for the eventuality of a real spill, testing both the communication systems, the equipment and to make sure all roles and responsibilities of the personnel listed in the National Pollution Contingency Plan will be effective during an actual response.  Transport Malta will also take the opportunity to test the communication systems and equipment in the newly set up Emergency Control Centre (ECC) at the Port Operation Centre in Marsa and the new equipment provided by EMSA and other owned by the Authority and private contractors.

Following an analysis of the decisions and actions taken, the exercise will help provide guidance about the best practice and procedures to be implemented in future scenarios.  The exercise will also help give an insight into the effectiveness of the coordination between different teams during an emergency.  Transport Malta will present a report to EMSA during the third week of October.

The following are participating in this exercise: 

• TM Units & Departments

• Armed Forces of Malta – Maritime Squadron/Ops Room

• Civil Protection Department 

• Malta Police

• Accident & Emergency Unit, Mater Dei Hospital

• Environmental Health Department

• Environment & Resources Authority

• Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture

• European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA)

• REMPEC

• Tankship Management (EMSA chartered response vessel)

• Falzon Marine (EMSA chartered response vessel)

• Tug Malta Ltd

• Malta Maritime Pilots

• Port Logistics Operations

• Cassar Maritime Services

• OSRA Int

• Zammit Group

• Dept of Geosciences, UoM

• Partners and stakeholders of the CALYPSO SOUTH project