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MSAF Ready, Should A Tier III Response Required

MSAF Ready, Should A Tier III Response Required
People still watch the chaos from the side of the seawall at Stinson Parade. Photo:Jone Luvenitoga
May 17
11:00 2017


The Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) in collaboration with Fiji Ports Corporation Limited (FPCL) and other stakeholders is ready should a tier III (national and international) response be required during the salvage works of the sunken vessel Southern Phoenix.

MSAF chief executive officer (CEO) – “MSAF has oil spill equipment on standby in Lautoka and is prepared to mobilize a full response, in collaboration with Fiji Ports Corporation Limited (FPCL) and other stakeholders, should a tier III (national and international) response be required.”

He  said two pollution experts had arrived in Fiji on May 11from Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) to assist the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) response team prepare for any major oil spill which might occur from the submerged cargo ship, Southern Phoenix.

“MSAF held an emergency meeting with the New Zealand Embassy Officials and requested the facilitation of assistance from MNZ as a precautionary measure with Tropical Cyclone Ella approaching.”

He said the area around the submerged cargo ship remained contained by the oil spill booms and minor leakages were cleaned and posed no threat to the marine environment.

“Salvage teams continue to strategically remove containers from the site and FPCL Shore cranes is been used for recovery of the containers. A total of fifteen containers have so far been removed from the water including four tank-tainers.”

He said Fiji Ports Company Limited (FPCL), MSAF, ship owners, and other stakeholders continued to coordinate the response effort for this emergency situation.

A total of fifteen containers have so far been removed from the water including four tank-tainers.


More on ‘Tier 3 Spill’

Definition l’

One of the three levels of oil spills as categorized by the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA). Tier 3 spills are the most severe; they cannot be contained with the resources of the producing company and require substantial external resources to deal with them.


Breaking Down ‘Tier 3 Spill’

The IPIECA has defined the three tiers according to various characteristics. Tier 3 spills usually require resources from stockpiles of national or international cooperatives. In most cases, these co-ops will be subject to governmental control.

Tier 3 provides additional resources with the emphasis on a more comprehensive response that broadens the response capabilities available at Tier 1 and Tier 2; it does not simply ‘double up’ capacity by providing more of the same type of equipment. For example, Tier 3 is likely to provide high-volume aerial dispersant capability. This highly specialized capability requires a comprehensive logistical chain of support.

It is also a costly capability that requires infrequent but short-notice access to adapted or dedicated aircraft, which the Tier 3 model for sharing costs across the industry is ideally suited to meet.

In some countries there is a strong desire to establish ‘national’ Tier 3 centres. While the desire to have this capability available for immediate deployment is understandable, it risks undermining the principle of cascading resources and duplicates capability that can be provided in a suitable time frame from existing international Tier 3 resources. Efforts are better placed strengthening logistical links and removing barriers to incoming international Tier 3 support.

A common misconception about Tier 3 is that service providers will deliver a large number of trained responders.

In reality Tier 3 organizations are more accurately measured by the skills and capability that their personnel can offer rather than by the number of personnel they provide. These trained personnel can effectively manage and train many more unskilled, locally sourced labourers enabling a powerful force multiplier effect. -Investopedia

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