There was more than the usual action at the main wharf of Port Nelson and the Sealord Marine Rescue Centre recently.

Pollution response staff from Nelson City Council, Tasman District Council, Port Nelson, the oil industry, as well as emergency response vessels and personnel from other agencies, took part in a five-hour marine oil spill response exercise.

“While we hope never to need to deal with a real oil spill, there is a chance of a spill on our region’s waters, so we need to ensure our training and response capability is up-to-date,” Nelson City Council Group Manager Environmental Management Clare Barton said.

“These annual exercises, required by Maritime New Zealand, help us confirm we have the resources and necessary skills to respond swiftly and effectively to any real oil spill event.”

“In a real-life incident there is a potential for sensitive marine areas to be impacted by oil. That’s where public reporting of such incidents is so important, enabling the Council to respond in a timely way.”

If you see a pollution threat or incident call 0800 NO POLLUTE (24 hours).