GPHA and Ghana Navy simulate oil spillage drill on sea
The Marine Operations Unit of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and the Ghana Navy have embarked on a joint simulation exercise to test their preparedness to respond to an oil spillage on sea.
Captain Francis Kwesi Micah, Harbour Master at the Tema Port, explained that the simulation was staged for a level one oil spillage involving an illegal bunkering operation.
Captain Micah said the process required that the port control was alerted for the working frequency to be established, after which, deploying one of GPHA’s tugs, ‘Ben Owusu Mensah’ which has all the capabilities of handling a spill of that nature.
The simulation, he said, was done under the 2023 Edition of the “Obangame Express,” which is a multinational maritime exercise in the Gulf of Guinea between January and February annually.
Captain Micah explained that the Obangame Express focused on increased regional cooperation in maritime safety and security, with this year’s edition designed to involve stakeholders in Ghana’s maritime industry to ensure interoperability between maritime partners and cooperation at sea.
He said GPHA’s participation was to demonstrate its commitment to international exercises intended to create an environmentally safe and secure marine environment.
He said the Ghana Navy, on its part, was available to cordon off the area to prevent the inflow of traffic around the area of operation.
He added that “thereon we deployed the booms which are designed to contain the oil from spreading. After they used the skimmers to gather all the oil settled at the surface of the water into the holding tanks of the tugs and after that we use the dispersants.”
Captain Micah said all the operations carried out during the simulation were done with permission from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).