Port Blair, Feb 28: The Indian Coast Guard conducted IMO Level-I Course for the first responders from Feb 22 to 26 at Port Blair. The course was designed to bring awareness on preparedness and response techniques related to Marine Oil Pollution as a first respondent. Besides 03(three) officer and 15(Fifteen) personnel of the Indian Coast Guard,02(two)Personnel from stakeholder i.eThe Disaster Management and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL)wereparticipated in the course. During the course, participants were exposed to extensive practical training on handling of oil spill response equipment. An exposure was also provided on health and safety precautions to be exercised during such operations. Wildlife is also prone to high casualties during any oil spill and the methods required for recovery and rehabilitation of wild life were also imparted during the training by the experts from the Department of Environment &Forest.

As the part of course curriculum, knowledge of Oil Spill Dispersant (OSD) and the relevant environmental concerned and health hazards were also imparted to the trainees. Participants also visited Coast Guard Air Enclave at Port Blair and were briefed about the aerial application of OSD by CG aircraft. During the training period, sufficient hygiene is being maintained amongst the participants such as area cleanship, hand wash and sanitizer facility were provided at various places during the entire course. Safety directives and guidelines are addressed to all participants prior commencement of training. Further for the first time topics such as Hazardous and Noxious Substances (HNS Protocol)response option and Net Environmental Benefit Analysis (NEBA)were shared in the course for better updations of latest knowledge about response for combating Oil Spill.

On the occasion the closing ceremony, Commandant  Subrata Bhattacharjee Officer-in-Charge of Pollution Response Team (A&N) drew attention on sensitivity and rich Bio Diversity of the pristine islands needs to be protected from such disasters and the time has come to exercise all preparedness with all stake holders. Officer-in-Charge also expressed his views on the pollution occurring from plastic waste and its impact on marine life and necessity for cleanliness of sea. He also urged all to fight against Marine Pollution and assured the support of Forest Department for the protection of the eco system of this pristine Island. The Officer-in-Charge also handed over certificates to participants on the occasion.

There have been continuous efforts by the Indian Coast Guard to train all stake holders in oil spill response so that concerted efforts are made in case of any eventuality resulting in accidental spillage of oil. Accordingly, the Indian Coast Guard has conducted structured courses as designed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for the personnel of Oil Handling Agencies, Resource AGENCIES, Stake Holders and Indian Coast Guard, a communication from Coast Guard said here.