HELCOM BALEX DELTA - Multinational oil spill response exercise

An annual exercise tests the readiness of countries around the Baltic Sea to handle a major environmental incident.


Porvoo, September 21, 2021  - Lamor has successfully participated in a major multinational environmental damage prevention exercise in the Baltic Sea. The annual HELCOM BALEX DELTA exercise tests the preparedness of maritime authorities around the Baltic.

The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, also known as the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) is an intergovernmental organization established in 1974 to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea. Every country around the Baltic, as well as the European Union, are members.

Each year a different country hosts the annual BALEX DELTA exercise. The 2021 event was organized by Finland and occurred at the end of August near Kotka in the eastern Gulf of Finland. Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Poland and Sweden participated.

The maritime exercise took place outside the Kotka archipelago with shoreside recovery practiced on the islands and shores west of the city. The simulated scenario was two tankers colliding and spilling oil and hazardous chemicals into the sea. Lamor participated in the mobilization, transportation, handover, use and demobilization of a boom in this exercise.


The Finnish pollution control vessel Louhi deployed the boom. Two of the senior crew members had previously deployed booms from a pier, but many of the deck crew were young conscripts performing their military service. Even with the lack of experience, the entire exercise proceeded smoothly.

Deploying and using the boom was difficult due to high winds, but the towing speed was slowed to 3 knots to compensate. One proposal for improvement was to have the ropes and lines marked so there would be no delay or confusion putting them in their proper places.

The crew of the vessel was pleased with both the equipment and the training. The captain of the Louhi was also happy with the exercise and wished he had more opportunities to train with this type of equipment.

Lamor was also pleased with the event and honored that they could take part. The Baltic Sea is one of the busiest marine areas in the world, as well as one of the most threatened. Combating a spill requires cooperation and training between various partners, and Lamor believes every maritime nation should maintain a high state of preparedness for emergencies.

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