Here's why emergency services will be descending on Leith on Tuesday

Leith will be a hive of activity on Tuesday due to an emergency response safety exercise which will simulate a major oil spill.

Monday, 30th September 2019, 12:45 pm
Updated Monday, 30th September 2019, 1:14 pm
Forth Ports will be taking part in an emergency safety exercise.
Forth Ports will be taking part in an emergency safety exercise.

The exercise will see the port respond to an emergency situation, testing their responsiveness and action plan if anything were to go wrong in the day-to-day operation of the port.

Forth Ports chiefs have said people should not be alarmed by any activity and added there would be no risk to the environment, people or property during the exercise.

Alan McPherson, chief harbour master of Forth Ports, said: “Safety is a top priority for Forth Ports and all the other organisations involved in this exercise.

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"These annual exercises help us all gain experience so that we are better equipped to respond speedily and effectively should a real oil spillage ever occur in the River Forth.

“No-one should be alarmed if they see activity, it’s an exercise and there is NO risk to the environment, people or property.

"We look at all kinds of situations during exercises and build on any lessons that arise so that we can improve our emergency procedures and be better placed to protect the local communities and the environment.”

This year's exercise will see the city council partner with Forth Ports in order to help facilitate the close involvement of local agencies and river users.

Councillor Alasdair Rankin, resources convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: "Resilience exercises like this, carried out along with our partner agencies and stakeholder organisations, are crucial to help us test our established emergency procedures and responses.

"There is no cause for alarm and no hazard to any member of the public. Every effort will be made to keep any disruption to a minimum.”

The exercise itself, Clearwater Forth, is an emergency pollution control safety plan which is designed to handle incidents on the river which could involve the risk of oil pollution.

Organised by Forth Ports, the exercise is run every year by the port authority to test its safety response.