On 18 June our Maritime Incident Response Groups from Kent (UK), Zeeland (NL), Ghent, Antwerp, Beveren (BE) Pas de Calais and the French Navy (FR) ran a successful exercise on board DFDS Seaways’ cruise ferry, Princess Seaways.
It is 9h50 AM on 15 May when Henri Poortvliet’s pager beeps. Message: Priority three, exercise, report at fire station. Henri: ‘We already were at the fire station where we were briefed in advance about safety measures and some other things.
In April and May the MIRGs from the MIRG-EU partner countries did their final rehearsals on the simulator in Marck en Calais. The teams went systematically through all the operational procedures.
On 18 June the teams from the partner countries will be confronted with a simulated incident on board DFDS Seaways’ cruise ferry Princess Seaways, which normally operates between IJmuiden in the Netherlands and Newcastle in the UK.
One hand for oneself and one for the ship. That was the first thing Henri Poortvliet was taught during his ship-to-ship-transfer course. ‘That first lessen I was already familiar with.
On 2 February the French MIRG experienced what being winched down from a helicopter in a special suit feels like. The team was lowered from the Civil Security helicopter which is based at “Le Touquet Airport”.
Gerd Buys from the Belgian MIRG team has completed half of his training programme and things are going well. He has written this special report for the MIRG website.
After the HUET and survival at sea, the MIRG’s face a new challenge: a helicopter winch training. An important part of the programme as a helicopter will be the main mean of transportation in case of an on board incident.