Organisations have been learning how to deal with emergencies on the coastline.
Northumberland hosted a major multi-agency course – attracting representatives from local councils, the emergency services and the Environment Agency – aimed at protecting the county’s 60-miles of coast.
Northumberland County Council facilitated a two-day Maritime and Coastguard Agency beach supervisor’s course which trained organisations on how to deal with a major pollution incident such as an oil spill.
Coun Dave Ledger, deputy council leader who also chairs the council’s emergency committee, said: “Northumberland residents and visitors alike praise the beauty and wildlife of our coast and highlight it as one of the reasons they choose to live, work or holiday in the area.
“It’s vital we protect and conserve the habitats and environment from any threat of, or actual, pollution and why courses such as this are critical to developing our capability to respond.
“The council and our Northumbria Local Resilience Forum partner coastal authorities have had marine pollution contingency plans for several years and it’s important that we continue to maintain and exercise them.
“While we hope the marine pollution contingency plan will never be required, events such as the grounding of the MV Danio on the Farne Islands prove we cannot be complacent and that being prepared for the unexpected is the best insurance to preventing or mitigating the effects of such incidents.”
This course, which included a number of practical sessions on the county’s beaches, ensured agencies are as prepared as possible to deal with any threats to the region’s coastal areas and the correct and adequate resources are available.