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Emergency planning

Portsmouth International Port has a range of emergency plans which establish the role of organisations involved, in order to co-ordinate the activities necessary to safeguard life, property and the environment in the event of a marine emergency or incident.

Solent Maritime Framework

The Solent Maritime Framework fully integrates with the Local Resilience Forum emergency structures and covers all incidents and emergencies, including security issues.

Responses will be led, according to the type and scale of incident, by the most appropriate agency, with support provided by other agencies as necessary.

The reporting process for incidents and emergencies remains the same I.E. through the HM Coastguard and/or the appropriate harbour authority.

This replaces the SOLFIRE Pan Solent Emergency Plan, and came into service at 0001 on 29 April 2022.

Oil pollution plans

The Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co Operation Convention) Regulations 1998, amongst other things, made it a requirement for Port Authorities to plan and make preparations to reduce the damaged caused by oil pollution incidents.

The response is divided up into a three tiered approach as follows:

  • Tier 1 response is defined as a small operational spillage that can be dealt with using the resources immediately available.
  • Tier 2 response for medium size spills that require the use of equipment held at longer notice or which require the assistance of the Tier 2 Contractor. (who has been pre arranged to provide support in an emergency).
  • Tier 3 response for large oil spills that exceed local capabilities and which may require national assistance and/or the implementation of the National Contingency Plan.

The main Oil Pollution Plan for Portsmouth Harbour is controlled and administered by the Dockyard Port of Portsmouth, through the offices of the Queen’s Harbour Master.

Portsmouth International Port will deal with Tier 1 spills for its area of responsibility, namely:

  • Cruise and Ferry Port
  • Albert Johnson Quay
  • Flathouse Quay
  • Gunwharf Tall Ships Berths
  • The Town Camber Docks

All other areas in the Harbour will be dealt with by the Dockyard Port.

 Commercial berth emergency plans

Each commercial berth operator has its own local emergency plan as follows:

  • The Portsmouth Cruise and Ferry Port – Emergency Plan.
  • The WightLink Gunwharf Terminal – Emergency Plan.
  • The Albert Johnson Quay and Flathouse Quay – Emergency Plan.
  • The Gunwharf Quays – Berths Emergency Procedures.

The main purpose of each plan is to set up the command and control systems and actions required for dealing with emergencies on the individuals site. The plans contain amongst other things, site maps, call out contact details, emergency contact details, procedures for dealing with the emergency, check lists and evacuation plans.

Copies of the plans are kept at Portsmouth International Port for the above areas.

RNLI lifeboats

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a registered charity which exists to save lives at sea. It provides a 24-hour on call service to cover search and rescue requirements to 50 miles out from the coast of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

The Solent has several RNLI lifeboat stations as follows:

  • All weather lifeboats are stationed at Selsey, Bembridge, Calshot and Yarmouth.
  • Inshore lifeboats are stationed at Portsmouth, Hayling Island, Selsey, Bembridge, Calshot and Lymington.

Full details are avalable on the RNLI’s website.