The Tampa Port Authority (TPA) announces the successful execution of a simulated oil spill response exercise Wednesday at the Port of Tampa by the Marine Safety Response Corporation (MSRC), one of several emergency response teams in operation at the port.

The drill began around 8 a.m. Wednesday at berth 208, adjacent to the container terminal operated by Ports America Group (PAG). PAG employed its massive, 100-ton capacity Gottwald crane to offload multiple MSRC oil spill response vessels from flatbed trucks into the harbor. MSRC also deployed their 47 ft. fast response boat for the exercise.

During the exercise, the MSRC vessels deployed a boom to isolate and clean up a simulated oil spill in the port. Drills such as these underscore the importance of ongoing cooperative relationships among port partners and service providers. In the event of an actual incident, the US Coast Guard, the TPA, and multiple private entities would all play important roles in the response.

“Effective spill response requires coordination between many moving parts. The preparation, cooperation, and coordination on display today between MSRC and Ports America is important and encouraging,” Steven Fidler, TPA senior director of operations, said.

MSRC operates oil spill response missions throughout the Gulf and currently sub-leases office and storage space at the Port of Tampa from Seabulk Towing. Ports America is TPA’s terminal operating partner.