Donegal Civil Defence – Exercise Zenith – May 2013

28 May 2013

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Wednesday, 19 November 2014 .Home > News > Donegal Civil Defence – Exercise Zenith – May 2013

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Donegal Civil Defence – Exercise Zenith – May 2013
A major exercise took place in Killybegs on Thursday 23rd May to test the combined capabilities of the emergency services under the Donegal County Major Emergency Plan. Exercise Zenith involved the Donegal Fire Service, Irish Coast Guard, Killybegs Fisheries Harbour, HSE, An Garda Síochána, Donegal County Council, National Ambulance Service and Donegal Civil Defence.

The setting was a small luxury cruise liner which was on a cruise from Norway visiting the west coast of Scotland. The last port of call was to Killybegs before returning to Norway. The boat arrived in Killybegs at 9pm on Wednesday 22nd May and was due to depart at 8pm on Thursday 23rd May.

On arrival in Killybegs the ship was allocated a berth at the new pier within the Port Security Zone. At 8am on Thursday Morning, 23rd May the bulk of the vessels passengers and crew departed the port for a bus tour of Donegal. 20 Passengers, the Captain and 5 Crew remained on board the vessel during the day.

At 12.30pm in the accommodation block on deck 2 under the bridge, a fire broke out in an empty passenger cabin. By 12.45pm the fire had quickly engulfed deck 2 and smoke was seen billowing from the deck and filling the accommodation, the vessels air conditioning system dragged the smoke down to the lower decks. The crew was overwhelmed by the smoke and could not locate the source of the fire. At 1pm the ship’s Captain broadcasted a Mayday call seeking assistance. At the same time the staff working in the port noticed smoke coming from the vessels accommodation and alerted the Harbour Master to the situation.

Exercise Zenith began at 1pm with the vessels mayday call and further developed from there with injects released to the controller of operations at several intervals during the afternoon. During the exercise the groups demonstrated skills, techniques and procedures in: search, rescue & recovery, emergency medical intervention and major emergency management.

The exercise stood down at 4.30pm. All the services hailed the exercise as a huge success.