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Ship of the Lithuanian Navy will take part in multinational oil response exercise


On August 26 search and rescues and counter-pollution ship “Šakiai” of the Lithuanian Navy sailed for Sweden to take part in the multinational oil response exercise on August 28-30 BALEX DELTA 2012 in the Gulf of Finland, the Baltic Sea.


The annual HELCOM (Helsinki Commission) initiated exercise is year organised by the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE).


This year BALEX DELTA 2012 is exceptionally large, the participants include 22 specialised oil response ships and over 50 other types of ships, boats, and air assets from all the 9 Baltic countries which have Baltic coast in their territories. According to the organisers, BALEX DELTA 2012 is the largest maritime emergency and counter-pollution drill of this type in the Baltic Sea area and one of the largest worldwide.


BALEX DELTA 2012 is arranged to test the Baltic countries’ readiness for collective response to large scale oil spill accidents in the Baltic Sea, the oil spill response capability of the countries by the Baltic Sea, corresponding procedures, interoperability of pollution-response ships while eliminating an oil spill accident, their capabilities and scope of actions.


Scenario of BALEX DELTA 2012 foresees an oil tanker experiencing an incident at sea, a large amount of oil spills into the Gulf of Finland. The participants of the exercise are tasked with trawling as much oil as possible before the slick has reached the coast of Finland and the islands in the Gulf of Finland causing ten times bigger environmental damage requiring correspondingly bigger time and financial resources for clearing.


In case of a real large-scale oil spill incident, very similarly to the exercise scenario, pollution-response capabilities of the Baltic countries would be called in to prevent the oil slick from reaching coast. According HELCOM information, the countries bordering with the Baltic coast possess over 45 naval pollution-response vessels which could reach the incident area within 6-48 hours from receiving the alert signal about an oil spill accident in the Baltic Sea.


BALEX DELTA has been held regularly since 1989 on the basis of an approved plan in a different Baltic country each time.


In 2010 the multinational oil spill response exercise BALEX DELTA 2010 took place in Lithuania, the training even was organised by the Maritime Search Coordination Centre of the Lithuanian Navy. The exercise involved 7 pollution-response vessels from 7 countries. Lithuania was represented by the LITHNAVY ship “Šakiai”, Mi-8 helicopter of the Lithuanian Air Force, and personnel of the “ORLEN Lietuva” JSC Būtingė Terminal.


More information about the exercise:


CIMIC Representative of the Lithuanian Navy Lt (N) Antanas Brencius, office phone no. 00370 46 391 207, cell phone no. 00370 698 18 196


Photos by LITHNAVY.

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