Fighting coastal pollution at Christchurch
Organisations involved with protecting Dorset's coastline took part in a two-day training event at Mudeford Quay.
Dorset County Council, in partnership with Christchurch Borough Council, has organised Beachmasters, which is run by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, to give agencies the skills and knowledge to be able to manage coastal pollution.
The English Channel is one of the world’s main maritime routes, used by almost 20 per cent of worldwide maritime traffic.
More than 126,000 ships carrying 354 million tonnes of hazardous cargo use the channel each a year.
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Representatives from Dorset County Council, Environment Agency, Natural England, Christchurch Borough Council, Bournemouth Council, Borough of Poole Council, Purbeck District Council, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and West Dorset District Council took part.
They learned about such things as booming, clearing up coastal pollution, inshore recovery, and dealing with oil spills.
Nigel Osborne, emergency management officer at Dorset County Council, said: "Coastal pollution is always a risk in Dorset. We need to be prepared for every eventuality and that is what this course is about.
"All the people attending the course have key parts to play in keeping the county's seas and shores clear of pollution. This is also about making sure that if disaster strikes, we are ready and able to deal with it."
Gary Foyle, senior beaches and open spaces officer for Christchurch Borough Council, said: "It has been a great opportunity for us to host the training event here in Christchurch. It has given us a chance to test out and validate our plans for a coastal pollution incident, as well as to train key members of staff.
"It has also provided an opportunity for us to network and build relationships with neighbouring coastal authorities and agencies so that, in the event of a coastal pollution incident, we are prepared and able to all work together to deal with it."