18 March 2021, the MOIG Director participated; via electronic conferencing platform; to seminar titled “Preparing For Extreme Cold Weather Response”; organized by Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL); technical partner.
This seminar was presented by the OSRL Cold Weather Core Group composed of Alex Fernandes; Responder and George Stafford; Chemical Engineer.
George Stafford started by underlining that OSRL was involved in various cold weather projects before 2012 in Greenland, Sakhalithe and Kazakhstan. He highlighted that this period can be considered as a step of gaining awareness on cold weather response. He indicated that the period of 2012 to 2014 constitutes for OSRL a step in building knowledge and expertise on cold weather response; characterized by increased interest and exploration in frontier regions from members, identifying the need to ensure capability and response readiness and attending various training & secondments to built knowledge.
George Stafford also underlined that OSRL developed the cold weather course along-side East Canada Response Corporation (ECRC) during that period focusing on oil recovery on and under ice; giving particular attention to safety. He noted that the period of 2015 to 2019 constitutes for OSRL the roll out of course to all responders. He underlined that OSRL conducted offshore, shoreline and SCAT training and exercises in Greenland alongside GOSR. He concluded with the GRN exercise hosted by ECRC held in Canada in 2019 and that of Norway held in 2020 and hosted by NOFO.
Alex Fernandes started by presenting the typical challenges of conducting a response in cold weather. He then showed a short video on working on ice – Oil Spill Response ECRC 2016. He explained that working and operating in cold weather environment required many different types of PPE and equipment, which the responders need to be trained and familiar with in order to operate effectively and safely. He presented some examples of safety concerns related to cold weather that generates injuries, lack of natural light, chainsaws, wildlife, tide and drift ice. He then explained the difficulties of finding, containing and recovering the spilt oil resulting from the choice of the platform to be used when deploying sensors, Aerial (fixed rotary) on foot/sledge/Boat/UUV.
Alex Fernandes described the bespoke specialist equipment composed of chainsaws, ice augers, snow blowers, shelters & heaters, modified powerpacks and PPE/Clothing. He concluded by highlighting that OSRL will continue to collaborate in cold weather response with external partners: British Antarctic Survey, nsbk, NOFO, ECRC-SIMEK, Aleska Clean Seas and Marine Spill Response Corporation.