Sri Lanka Coast Guard Completes Advanced Oil Spill Incident Management Training in Japan and 25 Coast Guard personnel graduated as oil spill incident management instructors

A team of 25 members from the Sri Lanka Coast Guard (16 officers and 09 sailors) successfully completed an advanced training program on oil spill incident management at the Maritime Disaster Prevention Center (MDPC) in Yokosuka, Japan, from May 20th to 25th, 2024. This specialized training was organized by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in collaboration with the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) and the MDPC. The course was based on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) model course on oil pollution preparedness, response and cooperation level 1.

The training was conducted in multiple phases, starting with basic phases in Sri Lanka followed by the advanced phase in Japan. The advanced course combined theoretical and practical components, covering topics such as the types and properties of spilled oil, spread prevention devices, oil boom handling, spilled oil collection, coastal cleanup, storage and disposal, Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) mapping, offshore oil collection, comprehensive coastal training and planning and field surveys for shoreline assessment and oil spill response planning.

In addition to the training, the Director General of the Sri Lanka Coast Guard- Rear Admiral Pujitha Vithana and Director Training- Captain Charitha Gunawantha, attended the sessions and engaged in in-depth discussions with JCG Commandant Ishii Shohei. These discussions focused on bilateral cooperation and future plans for the Sri Lanka Coast Guard. The senior officers also made a courtesy call to Mr. Tanaka Hiroo Director General Infrastructure Management Department – JICA to discuss ongoing and future collaborative efforts between JICA and the Sri Lanka Coast Guard. Further, courtesy calls were made to the Head of the JCG Yokohama region, the Chief of the National Strike Team and the Chief of the Yokohama JICA Center.

Following the successful completion of the course, the team returned to Sri Lanka, with all 25 members now officially recognized as oil spill incident management instructors for the Sri Lanka Coast Guard and in a position to share knowledge not only with Sri Lanka but also with the whole region. This achievement marks a significant enhancement in the country's capability to manage and respond to oil spill incidents effectively.