19 January 2015
The Hoegh Osaka incident has been running since 3rd January 2015 when the car carrier was beached on Bramble Bank in the Solent after listing on leaving Southampton. Although the incident posed a relatively low level of spill risk a Premiam Monitoring Coordination Cell (PMCC) was set up, comprising staff from Cefas and the Environment Agency, to establish risks and to formulate a plan for taking baseline samples against which contaminant and impact levels could be measured in the event of a later spill. To that end sediment samples in the vicinity were taken from the EA vessel Solent Guardian and stored as baseline samples. Additionally, shellfish samples from nearby harvested areas were taken by local authorities and sent for baseline hydrocarbons analysis. The PMCC has worked closely with the Environment Group (EG) set up to provide advice to the incident response cells with Robin Law (English PMCC Chair) or Brett Lyons (English PMCC Chair from February 2015 onwards) reporting directly on PMCC activities to the EG. As the incident evolves the PMCC process remains integrated with the EG and is on standby to initiate further monitoring should it be required.