BALEX DELTA 2018 is on track as shown during key planning conference in Karlskrona

Preparations for the BALEX DELTA 2018 maritime accident response exercise are well underway, as demonstrated during the Final Planning Conference held from 17 to 18 April 2018 in Karlskrona, Sweden. Organized by the Swedish Coast Guard, the conference was a major step towards the BALEX DELTA 2018 that will be held later this year in August in Karlskrona, both at sea and on shore.

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High concentration of expertise in one spot: participants of the BALEX DELTA 2018 Final Planning Conference in Karlskrona

Participants from several countries of the Baltic Sea region fine-tuned organizational matters and the exercise scenario which will stage a maritime accident causing an oil spill and chemical pollution. Because of the scope of the exercise this year – one of the largest worldwide and involving a large amount of vessels from different countries – the planning phase is particularly crucial.

The results of a pre-exercise held earlier this month in Poland were also presented during the conference. The exercise simulated the alert process after a collision between an oil tanker and a container ship carrying hazardous and noxious substances, with both oil and chemicals leaking into the sea.

“The pre-exercise is now finalized,” said Alexander von Buxhoeveden from the Swedish Coast Guard and leader of the Host Nation Support group whose task is to coordinate the operational assistance from the host country Sweden. “Some findings of the exercise [in Poland] will be useful for the improvement of the [accident] notification process.”

BALEX DELTA is a yearly maritime disaster response exercise, with each Baltic Sea country taking turns in hosting it. This year, the exercise is organized by Sweden and co-financed to 85 percent by the European Commission via DG ECHO’s Civil Protection Mechanism Exercise Programme. Thanks to the contribution from the EU, this year’s exercise can include chemical and shore response in addition to oil spill response at sea.

The aim of the BALEX DELTA exercise is to test the maritime accident alert mechanisms and response readiness, to strengthen the technical and operational know-how for the interventions at sea and on land, as well as to foster inter-regional cooperation.