All businesses are subject to formal health, safety checks and, where appropriate, environmental checks. MCT, Contship mega-transhipment hub in the port of Gioia Tauro, Southern Italy is no different.
June 23rd 2015, the MCT team was involved with a wider exercise under the auspices of the Port Authority, to test procedures and the ability to respond to a “what if” scenario. Codenamed “INCEPTUM”, the emergency response teams galvanized themselves to perform a simulation of a fire on board a ULCC class ship as well as a sea spillage of oxidizing substance IMO class 5.1, and successfully managed the challenge with flying colours.
Carmine Crudo, having overall operational responsibility for the terminal comments: “Having some 1,500 ship calls per annum, even if the risk factor is deemed to be somewhat low, we must be ready, at any moment, to respond. Our own safety record in the terminal is positive, but indeed, just recently there has been an actual fire on board a ULCC, passing through the Suez Canal and Mediterranean Sea: even if rare, these unfortunate incidents do actually happen.
If and when they do in the port of Gioia Tauro, the MCT team is ready to interact with the relevant competent authorities. Being a simulation, there can be a tendency for a less than professional approach. Anything associated with the Convention of Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the environment fully merits a high level of integrity, but I am happy to conclude that this was a useful exercise and all participants were fully aware of the potential issues arising. As well the perhaps more academic issues of our own ISO accreditations, if this really had have been an emergency, I have full trust and faith here in the port that no-one will put in less than a 200% level of professionalism.“