A SHIP has run aground at Port Hedland – what happens next?

A workshop run by the Pilbara Port Authority sought to help port stakeholders answer that question if there is such an incident.

PPA CEO Roger Johnston told DCN the purpose of the annual Salvage Preparedness and Response Workshop is to test the port’s emergency response strategies.

“The workshop brings together a variety of industry representatives to collaborate and foster a better understanding of the challenges associated with salvage response at the Port of Port Hedland,” he said.

Mr Johnston said the exercise was a great opportunity to discuss how stakeholders would work together to respond to a blockage of the Port of Port Hedland navigational channel and minimise disruption to port operations.


“The workshop provided invaluable insight into how shipping companies set up their incident management teams and the varied considerations of each stakeholder,” he said.

“The exercise highlighted the complexities of the navigational channel at the Port of Port Hedland, and the wide range of resources that would be required. The exercise also highlighted the need for each shipping company to factor in specific response strategies for Port Hedland in their emergency response plans.”

A variety of organisations were involved in the workshop, including PPA, international shipping companies (MOL, Thome and Maran Dry), port terminal and towage operators, marine pilots, OMC International and the WA Department of Transport.

In a statement about the workshop, MOL said over the course of the drill, participants ensured that they could implement a smooth emergency response and share information when the incident occurred.

“As the vessel operator, the shipping company provided PPA with a media response regarding the incident and then, along with other participants, evaluated the incident response process and the content of the media announcement, and received valuable feedback,” MOL said.