Israeli and Jordanian vessels take part in the oil containment exercise – deployment of the boom

 Joint Israeli-Jordanian oil pollution exercise in the Gulf of Eilat


Photo: Dr. Dov Zvieli

(Communicated by the Ministry of Environmental Protection)

A joint Israeli-Jordanian oil pollution combat exercise was successfully completed in the Gulf of Eilat/Aqaba on October 20, 2010. The exercise was held by the Jordanian unit for combating marine pollution by oil in Jordan’s Aqaba Port. The exercise simulated a 100 ton oil leak to sea from a tanker anchored in Aqaba Port in which the Jordanians turned to the Israeli forces (Marine and Coastal Environment Division of the Ministry of environmental Protection) for assistance.

The Jordanian and Israeli forces worked in full cooperation while using dedicated equipment for combating marine oil pollution from the two countries. Oil containment booms from the two states were joined to create a single Jordanian-Israeli boom, aimed at improving treatment and control of the oil spill. Vessels hailing from the two countries operated oil containment, pumping and storage systems.

The exercise is part of a training exercise program run by the Marine and Coastal Environment Division in the Ministry of Environmental Protection by means of the marine pollution prevention station in Eilat, within the framework of the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan. Recurring exercises throughout the years serve to hone skills and strengthen cooperation among all stakeholders and to increase preparedness and improve the treatment of potential oil spills from vessels arriving in the Gulf.

Joint action and mutual assistance in the event of a major oil spill in the Upper Gulf of Eilat/Aqaba are crucial to protect the natural and landscape assets which are shared by both Israel and Jordan.