Beaulieu River exercise tests team’s emergency response

The Beaulieu River has successfully carried out an oil spill exercise in partnership with marine and conservation agencies, with the marina being put to the test with its response to a simulated emergency situation, protecting both people and wildlife habitats.

Representatives from the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service, Marine Management Organisation, Environment Agency, Natural England, Hampshire County Council, New Forest District Council and Perenco joined Harbour Master Wendy Stowe and the Buckler’s Hard Yacht Harbour team for the drill, which was facilitated by the Adler & Allan marine response service.

Using the scenario of a boat fire and oil spill on one of the marina’s pontoons, the exercise was played out in real-time, with the marina and wider Beaulieu Estate team members calling upon emergency services and environmental experts as the ever-changing scenario unfolded.

The River team worked together to deploy marine booms to contain the spillage and prevent it from spreading to environmentally sensitive wildlife habitats. While the Beaulieu-based fire service crew practiced using the equipment and methods they would need for a real incident of this nature.

From the incident command centre at the marina, the team was put through its paces as it was assessed on key decisions made, what actions were taken, and the speed of responses to the developing situation, with the support and guidance from the gathered marina and conservation experts.

Harbour Master Wendy Stowe said: “Personally, I felt the day was a success. The team worked very well and I feel very reassured that if there was an incident, we have the right tools to support and tackle any incident, plus we validated that our current oil spill plan does work.”

Adler & Allan Marine Contracts Manager Beth Esau said: “We were impressed with the level of dedication and attention to detail that the Marina team exhibited during the oil spill exercise. It’s very reassuring to know that they are going above and beyond to protect this beautiful location.”

The Beaulieu River is one of the few privately owned rivers in the world and the custodianship of the Montagu family has protected it for over four centuries, maintaining its unique natural charm and protecting its unique habitats and species.

As the jewel of the Solent at the gateway to the New Forest, the yacht harbour has a long track record of giving a personal and outstanding service to its customers, offering full marina services, an open policy boatyard and chandlery and a range of benefits. A restaurant, bar and tea shop are on the doorstep at the 18th century shipbuilding village of Buckler’s Hard, with its museum. For moorings and berths see, email or call 01590 616200.

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