Friday, February 19, 2010

Container Shipping Line MOL Train For Philippine Disaster

Biannual Tests Keep Staff on their Toes
Shipping News Feature

PHILIPPINES – In a week we have seen the country's smaller ship owners squabble about introducing the most basic safety measures it is encouraging to note that at least one major shipping group has half an eye on worst way scenarios. MV Spirit of MOL is Mitsui OSK Lines training vessel and yesterday she became the subject of a collision, followed by fire and major oil spillage – fortunately simply a practice exercise.

Yesterday afternoon saw 60 participants from MOL’s Tokyo headquarters and assorted group companies gather to envisage a major disaster just off Manila to test the preparedness and effectiveness of staff in a catastrophic scenario. Local companies MOL Philippines Inc. and Magsaysay-MOL Marine Inc. together with M.O. Cable Ship Ltd. also took part in the drill.

The exercise presumed that the training ship was under way in the Manila Bay and collided with a small tanker. Fuel oil was leaking from a breach in the hull at the point of impact, and a fire broke out in the galley while the cooks were preparing lunch. The drill started with an initial incident report from the training ship, after which MOL organized an Emergency Control Headquarters, handled first response tasks such as information gathering and communication among parties concerned, and held the inevitable media response drill.

MOL holds biannual practice drills based on various scenarios around the world. The company continues to further sharpen its group-wide emergency response readiness procedures by sharing know-how accumulated in these training sessions throughout the MOL Group fleet. This particular exercise was designed to confirm the precise, smooth communication and response needed to a real life scenario of the type only too common in the waters of the Philippine islands.

Photo: Staff undergoing yesterdays test at MOL’s improvised damage control HQ.