Representatives from the United States Coast Guard are currently in Bermuda to assess how they could help in the event of a major oil spill.
According to a statement released today, the visit stems from an agreement signed by both countries in 1976.
Geoffrey Smith, an environmental engineer at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said Bermuda has oil response equipment like oil booms and skimmers to tackle the first 24 hours of a major spill.
He also noted that Sol Petroleum, Rubis Energy and Belco carry oil response equipment to attend any oil spills from their sites.
“The Bermuda-United States Coast Guard agreement is therefore considered a potential response option for Government in the event of a major oil spill coming to Bermuda from a third party such as a passing oil tanker,” he added.
A spokesman said the meetings this week the end goal was to re-establish contacts and communication routes for key personnel within Bermuda, understand the types of assistance that can be provided by the US Coast Guard, establish processes to quickly expedite equipment and personnel into Bermuda if needed and demonstrate the island’s oil response capabilities and response plan.
- Photos Courtesy of DCI taken today during a site visit to Marine and Ports, Dockyard where US Coast Guard representatives and Government technical officers viewed some of Bermuda’s oil spill equipment. Group Shot (left to right): Warrant Officer (Second Class) Jeffrey Patterson, Royal Bermuda Regiment; Patricia Hollis, Department of Environment and Natural Resources; Lt Cdr Jeff Platt, US Coast Guard HQ; Scott Simmons, Department of Marine & Ports Services; Dr Geoffrey Smith, Department of Environment and Natural Resources; Steve Cosham, National Disaster Coordinator, Ministry of National Security.