Response to major pollution incident to be tested

UK Government to run national oil pollution exercise off the coast of Lincolnshire, Northern Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire

The UK Government, local authorities and other key stakeholders will be testing their response to a major at sea and shoreline pollution incident on 22nd and 23rd November 2016 with Exercise Grey Seal.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is the custodian of the UK National Contingency Plan which details the UK’s response to marine pollution from shipping and offshore installations. The MCA arranges national counter pollution exercises for shipping every three years, around the UK, to ensure the National Contingency Plan remains appropriate and fit for purpose. Exercise Grey Seal will include participation by more than 60 organisations including the MCA, Department for Transport, local authorities, Shell International Trading & Shipping, P&O Ferries, ABP and Environment Agency.

The day before the exercise (21st November) there will be an opportunity to see a range of oil spill response equipment and the associated clean up techniques on Mablethorpe Beach.

Colin Mulvana, Exercise Director said:

 “The UK has an excellent record for managing and responding to the risk of major pollution incidents at sea and around our shores from shipping and the offshore oil and gas industry but the potential risk to the UK remains real. Over 500 million tonnes of UK goods and 21 million passengers travel by sea every year. It is vital that we continue to test our response capability.

Exercise Grey Seal will allow us to test the response to oil pollution at sea, where monitoring and clean-up is overseen by the MCA and then how to best support regional responders who are responsible for dealing with oil once it has come ashore.” 


Ian Reed, Emergency Planning & Business Continuity Manager at Lincolnshire County Council, said:

"This is a great opportunity for both national and local organisations to test their readiness and their preparations for a major environmental incident, without actually causing any harm to the environment. It also allows us to engage with our partners, and to validate plans and procedures.”


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