Operational principles in combatting oil pollution
The following general principles are central in the operations
- The oil combatting measures include prevention of damages when an accident has taken place, restriction of damages, recovery of the material causing damage, and cleansing of dirt. The overall aim in all actions is to minimize the damage.
- Oil combatting is usually most effective and should in the first place happen at the source of damage.
- Long-range spreading of the damage must be prevented. We participate in oil combatting operations in Baltic Sea also outside the borders of Finland
- Efficiency is an important criterion in oil combatting operations. The effort has to be in a reasonable relation to the achievable advantage, i.e., reduction of damage.
- The one who pollutes also pays.
The following aspects are important in combatting vessel oil damages
- The first actions are crucial. Preventive measures on board the vessel may yield the best profit. Next useful is to restrict the spreading of and to collect the oil in the sea. The least efficient action is to clean the shores since destruction has then already taken place and not even speed is of much use in cleansing.
- When giving the alarm, be always prepared for the worst.
- The higher-up authorities have to anticipate the future development of the spill.
- The actions have to be adjusted according to needs. The accidents are different and various methods have to be prepared in advance. When an accident has happened, there is no time to find new techniques.
- Oil has to be recovered, i.e., collected mechanically.
- The basic functions of operations are intelligence, communications, command and control (I3C)
- The plans have to rest on prognoses and anticipate the worst possible.
- Co-operation is based on division of tasks and definition of areas of responsibility accordingly.