Local oil spill exercise

Oil booms were deployed at the tanker berth this week. Photo: file

Regional council staff have been dealing with an oil spill exercise at Butters Wharf near the aerodrome bridge this week.

Called Operation Basil Brush (Boom Boom), the exercise is based on containing a spill at the cement/tanker berth near the southern end of the Mount Maunganui wharf.

Participants have been informed that the incident involves an oil transfer company losing some of its product at the tanker terminal, says a BOP regional council spokesperson.

“They have been informed that onsite staff has deployed some booms, but no further details are being released, to allow participants to react to unknown events,” they said.

Up to 50 people took part in the marine oil spill exercise. Organised by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, it is hoped the exercise will help maintain and build oil spill response capability amongst industry and first responders at New Zealand’s busiest port.

More than half of those taking part were Regional Council staff, and also include representatives from Department of Conservation, Maritime NZ, Waikato Regional Council and iwi representatives. Also present were those responsible for transferring oil at the Port of Tauranga. The exercises were held between 8am – 4pm, and involved multiple boats in the water.

Basil Brush is a puppet fox, featuring on British television from the 1960s until the present day. A mischievous character and a raconteur, Basil Brush is best known for his catchphrase ‘Boom! Boom!’.