During the latter part of 2012, Ehab Alsayagh and Paul Hutchings of Liverpool City Unit joined Area Volunteer Officer (North) Chris Todd and Regional Volunteer Officer (North Wales) Giles Pepperell on the MCA run Beach Supervisor course at Wallasey Town Hall on the Wirral peninsula. The course is designed to equip delegates with an understanding of the skills required to perform the role of Beach Master and function as an effective site supervisor and operations manager for an allocated section of coastline in the event of a pollution incident.
The first day initially covered some of theory and evolution of pollution response techniques and their development in light of a number of well-known maritime events including Sea Empress and the MSC Napoli incident – the latter a prime example of how MVS can help in such circumstances. The role of MVS is likely to grow given the pressures on the resources of Local Authorities and other Category 1 responders. A number of case studies and scenarios were discussed from Tier 1 to a third tier major event before preparation for the practical day.
Day two saw the fifty-two delegates assemble at Fort Peach Rock, a picturesque feature of the newly re-developed Marine Promenade at New Brighton, to practice the deployment of booms and the assessment of a site to plan a response to pollution for exercise purposes.