THE Australian Maritime College has awarded BP Australasian shipping manager Captain Brett Whiteoak the AMC Peter Morris medal for his work to mitigate future oil spills.
The medal is awarded to an alumnus who has made a significant contribution to the maritime industry in safety, environmental responsibility or the development of international merchant shipping operations and standards.
Captain Whiteoak was recognised for developing a method to skim and contain offshore spills.
The method entails using oil tankers that can remain in situ as long as necessary to collect and treat spilled oil rather than filling iso-tainers or inflatable bladders.
The method is due for trial in Western Australia in September.
“It’s still a theory at this stage, but all the elements of the proposal have been tested separately,” he said.
IN 2010 Captain Whiteoak was deployed to the Macondo Well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico as a simultaneous operations director, responsible for all vessel operations above the wellhead.
“It certainly was an extremely tough time to be with BP,” Captain Whiteoak said.
“However, it was really good to be there; you knew you were doing something useful.”
Captain Whiteoak trained at AMC in the early 1980s and spent 20 years on Australian and international oil tankers.