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November December 2019 Marina World

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The magazine for the marina industry


DISASTER MANAGEMENT Storm-wrecked marina highlights growing need for clearer process and collaboration by Andy Billington In March 2018, the collision of Storm Emma and the ‘Beast from the East’ caused widespread, catastrophic damage in parts of the UK. The port of Holyhead on Anglesey, an island off the northwest coast of Wales, bore the brunt of the storm. While the ten hottest years on record have all been recorded since 2002, the last decade has also seen numerous communities and businesses devastated by so-called once in a lifetime events. As the two weather systems collided, the winds intensified to reach hurricane force, all but completely destroying the town’s marina overnight. More than 80 vessels were severely damaged or sunk and the marina’s pontoons were torn apart. Fuel and other oils leaked from the stricken vessels while large quantities of polystyrene, commonly used in the construction of pontoons, created a major pollutant, spreading rapidly from the marina to adjacent shorelines and threatening the shipping lanes within the port. In a highly successful clean-up operation praised by Welsh government minister Lesley Griffiths, the harbourmaster for Holyhead Port, and Natural Resources Wales, emergency response environmental risk reduction specialist, Adler and Allan, recovered more than 1,000m³ (35,315ft³) of polystyrene and 3,000 litres of oil as well as other debris. Code of practice As the severity, frequency and rapid increase in the number of extreme weather events, including storms, heat waves and flooding is seen across the globe, the likelihood of natural disasters such as the destruction of Holyhead Marina occurring again, is only going to increase. In Cumbria, when Workington’s flood defences were rebuilt following the great storms of 2005, businesses and residents were assured they could withstand a ‘once in a century’ flood. But just four years later, the town was hit by a second deluge, this time described as a ‘once in a millennium’ event. In 2007, as well as claiming the lives of 13 people, the Tewkesbury floods severely affected the entire region’s infrastructure including power and water supplies, while in 2015, floods decimated Cumbria again leaving many businesses at risk including a Shell/CBRE service station in Carlisle where water ingress had affected the fuel storage tanks as well as the retail unit on the forecourt. Coastal towns and their infrastructure are inevitably subject to a heightened Above: Polystyrene from the pontoon floats created a major pollutant when storms destroyed Holyhead Marina in Wales. Below: Adler and Allan undertook a major clean-up operation. 38 - November/December 2019

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