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News - 28/06/17

Annual port security exercise

Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) will be conducting its annual port security exercise at the end of June in compliance with the International Ship and Port Security Code (ISPS Code). The exercise will be hosted by Isle of Wight Fuels and will involve CHC’s trained Port Facility Security Officer (PFSO) as well as PFSOs from other commercial port facilities in Cowes and the Island’s Emergency Services.

The ISPS Code is a comprehensive set of measures to enhance the security of ships and port facilities, developed in response to the perceived threats to ships and port facilities in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in the United States. Each port facility in Cowes has their own approved Security Plan, which is subject to audit and verification by the Department for Transport’s Maritime Division.

Under the ISPS Code, each port facility has to conduct drills at least every three months, and exercises should be held once a year and may test multiple areas of each plan with other facilities and external agencies.

Due to the close proximity and nature of business at each port facility in Cowes, if one facility has an issue, it is highly likely that the other facilities may be affected or face a similar issue. Therefore, CHC follows a joined up approach on training and exercises. By cycling the location and focus of the training, involving all facilities and as many relevant external agencies as possible, the port facilities can be better prepared for any eventuality.

During and after these exercises, each facility reviews their plans to ensure that the individual plans do not conflict. Post exercise, a report is produced and promulgated to highlight any learning points or any areas of concern, so that all involved can improve their plans and/or training.