U.S., Canada practice response with mock cruise ship grounding

BAR HARBOR, Maine – The United States and Canadian governments are partnering to practice readiness response during this year’s Canadian/United States Atlantic 2011 exercise (CANUSLANT) in Bar Harbor May 18 and 19.

CANUSLANT2011 is designed to establish a learning environment for players to exercise emergency response plans, policies, and procedures as they pertain to a grounded cruise ship that is significant enough to justify activation of a coordinated joint US/Canada response under the Atlantic Geographic Annex.

The CANUSLANT 2011 Exercise will evolve around the grounding of a large cruise ship in the vicinity of GRAND MANAN ISLAND near the U.S. Canadian Border with a simulated Mass Rescue Exercise occurring on May 18th within the Port area of Bar Harbor and the CANUSLANT Exercise occurring in the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel, Bar Harbor Maine.

The United States and Canada recognized the need for an international marine pollution contingency plan for their adjacent contiguous waters more than 30 years ago. The first such plan was the Joint Marine Pollution Contingency Plan for the Great Lakes, promulgated in 1974 under the Canada-United States Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1972.

Under the Atlantic Geographic Annex, the Coast Guards of both countries are required to conduct biennial exercises for management and a deployment of resources exercise are required to:
• Ensure overall preparedness;
• Ensure and enhance the knowledge and skill of potential participants; and
• Ensure that people and resources can be effectively deployed to an environmental response incident.

Recommendations arising from CANUSLANT2011 will be included in the Atlantic Geographic Annex to the Joint Contingency Plan. This updated annex was recently co-signed by Canadian and Coast Guard dignitaries in July of 2010 and is posted on the JRT Website; http://www.uscg.mil/d1/response/jrt/canuslant.asp

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