Emergency Services and PSG Personnel to Participate in Large-scale Live Exercise on Thursday morning

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PORT ST. MAARTEN – Personnel from Port St. Maarten Group (PSG) will be participating in a live maritime security drill on Thursday, February 23 between 9:00 am and 12:00pm in conjunction with the national emergency services.

Motorists are advised there may be some impact to the traffic flow on the road in front of the port due to the movement of emergency vehicles.  The number of persons to participate in the large-scale exercise is approximately 70+.

A large-scale maritime security exercise is required every 18-months according to the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code requirements. The ISPS Code came into force on July 1, 2004, and is applicable to all vessels over 500 gross tons operating on international trades, as well as the ports that provide a service to them.

The drills’ primary objective is to practice the skills, test the equipment involved and validate the procedures relating to the scenario which will take place at the Port Facility.

“This is an opportunity once again to test our response to an emergency at the port.  It ensures that PSG staff and members of the emergency services are able to work in sync in dealing with an emergency which allows entities to maintain a high level of readiness.

“It further enhances our ability to maintain and improve proficiency. We have a responsibility to keep testing our response system based on our Port Facility Safety Plan,” PSG Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Alexander Gumbs said.

The ISPS Code provides a framework through which ships and port facilities can cooperate to detect and deter acts which pose a threat to maritime security.

The Code enables the detection and deterrence of security threats within an international framework; establishes roles and responsibilities; enables collection and exchange of security information; provides a methodology for assessing security; ensures that adequate security measures in place.

The Code also requires ship and port facility staff to: gather and assess information; maintain communication protocols; restrict access, prevent the introduction of unauthorized weapons, etc. provide the means to raise alarms; put in place vessel and port security plans and ensure training and drills are conducted.