Kadi Kasepõld, Tallinn University of Technology; Sergej Suzdalev, Klaipėda University
The pandemic took over the world in the beginning of 2020 and left its mark also on the activities conducted in the OIL SPILL project, including the carrying out of training events. Nevertheless, TalTech Estonian Maritime Academy and Klaipeda University Marine Research Institute collaborated to distribute information about maritime simulators and their potential benefits in the field of oil spill response.
Although the anticipated OIL SPILL Simulator Training Event was postponed and eventually cancelled, a small-scale simulator exercise was held with Estonian participants in May 2020. Additionally, an online questionnaire was distributed to field experts and potential participants of the simulator training event and insight from the sector and the experts within was gathered about the necessity and suitability of simulator training in the field of oil spill response operations.
Experiences gained in the frame of the OIL SPILL project revealed that maritime simulators, although being a rather novel approach, are considered to be an essential part of the preparation process to tackle real oil spill accidents, and are complementing more traditional tabletop and field-exercises. Feedback from the experts revealed that oil spill related simulator training is really welcomed and should be conducted regularly, e.g. once a year.
Based on the expectations of the target groups, several thoughts for the future simulator exercises in oil spill response were developed. It is important to set a good training scenario with realistic and clear objectives, that is in accordance with valid environmental policies and presents clarified roles and responsibilities of the participating target groups. To develop the possibilities and further enhance the benefits of oil spill related simulator trainings, the strengthening of cooperation between existing simulator centres is foreseen, together with collecting best practices and adaption of technical innovations in the field.
Read more about the results of the questionnaire on the thoughts of the experts from our latest report, Conducting Simulator Trainings in Oil Spill Response Training – Thoughts from the Crews, here.
You may find our previous report, Conducting Oil Spill Combating Training with State-of-the-art Maritime Simulators, here.
TalTech Estonian Maritime Academy and Klaipeda University Marine Research Institute thank fellow project partners and all involved parties, and hope for future fruitful cooperation, either on simulators or in the field.