Low-flying aircraft, increased vessel traffic near Argentia

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Keith Ashfield — Photo by The Canadian Press

The Canadian Coast Guard, the Canadian Forces and the RCMP will be conducting an exercise in the Argentia area this week that will result in increased vessel traffic in Argentia Harbour as well as low flying aircraft in the area.

A news release issued today by Fisheries and Oceans Canada says caution is advised for vessels and aircraft in the area.

Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield said the Canadian Coast Guard will host a multi-disciplinary response exercise on the water, in the air and along the shoreline in Argentia, from Monday to Wednesday.

Operation Marquise is an exercise that will showcase interdepartmental co-operation among the federal government partners. Personnel and equipment will be deployed displaying capacities in oil spill response, search and rescue and maritime security.

“Our government’s unprecedented investments into the Canadian Coast Guard are helping to make sure our waterways remain open and safe” said Ashfield. “This exercise highlights how we cooperate with our partners to handle emergency situations in the marine environment.”

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Peter Penashue, the province's representative in the federal cabinet, said he's proud to see this kind of demonstration of the capacity to respond to emergency situations in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“We have a robust network of responders in our province who continue to improve on their abilities to handle emergency situations,” Penashue said.

Operation Marquise will include a search and rescue exercise that involves a helicopter evacuation of a crewmember injured at sea. A CH-149 Cormorant search and rescue helicopter from Canadian Forces 103 Search and Rescue Squadron, 9 Wing Gander and the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Sir Wilfred Grenfell will participate.

The maritime security exercise will showcase a marine tactical intervention of a target vessel by an emergency response team from the RCMP.

The exercise will also include a two-day scenario of a simulated oil pollution incident in coastal waters that will demonstrate the capability and resources of the Coast Guard in environmental response and preparedness.  This scenario includes a co-operative exercise of shoreline cleanup with local Canadian Army units.

Organizations: Canadian Coast Guard, Canadian Forces, RCMP Fisheries and Oceans Canada Canadian Army

Geographic location: Argentia, Newfoundland and Labrador

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  • Maurice E. Adams
    September 24, 2012 - 12:26

    I would like to see how effective pollution containment and clean-up would be --- not in the relatively secluded waters of Argentia harbour, but in the outer portion of Placentia Bay or anywhere in the inner channel leading to Come by Chance, especially during the frequent storm force conditions that prevail in those high risk areas. .... PREVENTION is, by far, the key........ Prevention/avoidance is the key to addressing catastrophic pollution incidents ---- the rest is window dressing.