Day 1 of the event consisted of a practical event on site at Spanish Point demonstrating the operation of equipment stored by Sea-pt for use in the event of a spill. Sea-pt also store equipment for a wildlife response and we set up a beach head collection point which was visited by the other sections involved in a response allowing them an understanding of what's involved in a wildlife response.
Day 2 was a desk top exercise and took place in the Clare Co Council offices in Ennis. The OWRN were invited to present to the delegates of the exercise in addition to Dave McMyler from the Irish Coast Guards; Jack O'Sullivan, Environmental Management Services; Brian McGonagle/Dave Nielson from PWS Ltd/spill consult and John Leahy, Senior Engineer with Clare Co Council. The case was made for the development of a National response plan for wildlife.
The exercise was based on a major spillage of crude oil from an oil exploration platform located 220km off shore. A slick had been identified moving close toward the coast.
Rob Self MD of Spill Consult facilitated the exercise and got all the participants focused on the task at hand. Many lessons were learned from the exercise but the most positive from OWRN point of view was the acknowledgement that our procedure should be included in the county plan and a wildlife response be part of the overall response.
At this time of year there are an estimated 50,000 birds nesting on the cliffs of Moher alone. If a spill occurredwe could be looking at 90,000 birds being affected!