Emergency Exercise to take place on the River Forth

Wednesday 26th September 2018

Emergency Exercise to take place on the River Forth

An emergency response safety exercise, which simulates an oil spill in the Firth of Forth, will take place on Tuesday 2nd October along the Aberdour to Kirkcaldy coastline.

Clearwater Forth – the emergency pollution control safety plan – is tested annually by Forth Ports, the statutory river authority for the Firth of Forth, and requires the close involvement of local agencies and river users. Fife Council will partner with Forth Ports for the exercise this year. It is likely that the exercise will result in some activity around the Aberdour to Kirkcaldy coastline and residents should not be alarmed by this.

Alan McPherson, Chief Harbour Master of Forth Ports, said: “Safety is a top priority for Forth Ports and all the other organisations involved in this exercise. These annual exercises help us all gain experience so that we are better equipped to respond speedily and effectively should a real oil spillage ever occur in the River Forth. The River Forth is one of the UK’s busiest waterways with over 3000 vessels navigating.

“No-one should be alarmed if they see activity, it’s an exercise and there is NO risk to the environment, people or property. We look at all kinds of situations during exercises and build on any lessons that arise so that we can improve our emergency procedures and be better placed to protect the local communities and the environment.”

Keith Winter, Fife Council Executive Director, added: “At Fife Council we know how essential it is to be prepared for emergencies of this kind. We regularly carry out exercises like this with our community partners and we are pleased to work with Forth Ports in this safety exercise.”

Clearwater Forth is an established emergency response plan designed to handle incidents on the river which may involve the risk of oil pollution. The plan is the responsibility of Forth Ports and is only required to be tested every three years. However, Forth Ports tests this on an annual basis as the ports group views safety as a priority.

26 September 2018 – Ends –