History of SEAPT

 What is SEAPT Ltd.

The SEA-PT team consists of the Port Company, Local Authorities, Offshore Industry and Oil Importers and was initiated to form a unified coordinated response to pollution incidents on the Shannon Estuary. The team has been in operation for the past 24 years under a committee of the nominated pollution officers representing each of the members. The most active member is SFPC who call and chair the meetings, organize training courses and exercises, and ensure maintenance of equipment. SFPC assist the nominated county in preparing annual exercises.


Roles and responsibilities within SEAPT rest mainly with the Shannon Foynes  Port Company, who organize all maintenance, purchases, meetings, annual accounts and audits, training courses and help organize and run exercises.


Each member contributed initially to provide pollution response equipment and support tools. This equipment is available to respond to any pollution incident or threat involving any of its members.


Members contribute annually to ensure that equipment is maintained, enabling SEAPT to provide exercises and training, and purchase new and replacement equipment.


Each member has individual responsibility for its own area, and assumes command role when the annual exercise takes place within their jurisdiction.


Oil Spill Tracking Model, Geographic Information System, Environmental Atlas, Sensitivity Study, Oil Spill Response Strategy, Hydrocarbon Baseline Study and Emergency Response Plans have been developed for the region and updated.


SEA-PT relies on sub-contractors and external supporters to function. Most of the agreements in place limit the commitments and guarantees required by the service provider. The 2012 Review of SEAPT noted that we should consider agreement conditions that will allow SEA-PT to have assurance for the supply of personnel, transport, catering etc. In the event of an out of hours incident the incident commander will be able to place some demands on suppliers to turn out rather than relying on good-will and best endeavours.


SEA-PT Members:

Shannon Airport
Clare County Council
Galway County Council
Kerry County Council
Shannon Foynes Port Co.
Rusal Aughinish
SSE Tarbert
ESB Moneypoint
Inver Energy
Limerick City and County Council
Topaz Ireland



Brief History leading to present position of SEAPT Ltd.

1993 Initial meetings with involved parties to assess pollution response to an incident in the Shannon Estuary. Agreement reached that we would provide a unified response to incidents. Each member however will still maintain command and control for their individual areas and provide response plans for those areas.
1993 to 1996 Discussion on how to equip SEAPT led to purchasing their own equipment rather than depending on third parties. First model also developed for oil spill tracking.
1995 Spill into Abbey river from land source, SFPC responded and “Graig” used in breaking up oil. Shoreline response conducted by Limerick City Council.
1996 Shoreline response studies completed by Briggs Marine.
1998 Environmental Assessment completed by Jon Moore.Hydrocarbon baseline study of Shannon Estuary Completed.
1999 Princess Vanya goes aground on the Beal Bar – no pollution however Troil booms moved to Cappa in the event of oil spill.Oil Spill at Tarbert Generating Station, HFO into Estuary. Booms and sorbent material moved to site and deployed. SFPC assisted by Kerry County Council responded with assistance from ESB Tarbert on site.
2001 Oil spills at Kilrush, 2 incidents with Southern Chemicals at Askeaton, Hordnes at Aughinish while taking bunkers, and Ted Russell Dock. Minimal response from SEAPT with small amounts of spill response equipment.
2002 Clipper Cheyenne sinking in Foynes, all SEAPT equipment called on and used  by SFPC with manpower resources from Port Company, Limerick County Council and Kerry County Council deployed. Additional equipment received from Irish Coast Guard as stand- by, with some used over the cleanup period.
2002 – 2004 New equipment purchased and located to new storage facility in Foynes, PWS tasked with maintenance three times per year and local maintenance team established to complete monthly checks.
2004 SEAPT becomes SEAPT Ltd to isolate its members from becoming embroiled in compensation claims, and to identify an entity for insurance claims purposes.
2005 Pipeline spill at Shannon Airport. Equipment on stand-by in the event that oil reached Lagoon and into the Estuary.
2006 Cobalt Water pollution incident at Aughinish, vessel impacted with mooring dolphin whilst leaving the berth and breaching its fuel tank, with resultant leak of heavy oil into the Shannon Estuary. Booms placed on tugs and tugs deployed to break up oil. Response equipment prepared for deployment however the oil sank during the night and never recovered.
2007 Louise Oldendorf at Aughinish, drums of Chloropol into Estuary. Drums collected intact by workboat with no deployment of SEAPT equipment.
2008 Commence annual audits of SEAPT to safeguard against weaknesses in its capability and offer comfort to its directors.
2009 OSCAR built and delivered to SEAPT store, a joint effort between SEAPT Ltd. and the Irish Coast Guard.
2010 Launch of new SEAPT Ltd. Web based oil spill tracking and GIS model, developed by Nowcasting Ltd, with assistance from ASA, EMS, Aquafact, Ordinance Survey Office, UK Hydrographic Office, and Shannon Foynes Port Company.
2011 – 2013 Involved and commitment to Netmar to run major exercise in the Shannon Estuary in April 2013, ongoing. Also established a wildlife response capability with Irish Seal Sanctuary and pertinent NGOs. SEAPT has purchased equipment to facilitate this capability and has run two courses for the response members.
2011 Collision involving Tina Theresa at Western Anchorage.
2012 Spill of HFO into River Deel and contaminating regions water intake. Deployment of equipment from SEAPT warehouse to assist Limerick County Council, with help from Port Company and the regular SEAPT maintenance team.


Some points to note:


  • The Lower Shannon Estuary is a major deep water marine port and marine transport facility and also is an area of considerable environmental importance both with regard to marine life and other habitats. The preservation and enhancement of this internationally important environment is of high priority to the community living around the estuary, the wider community locally and nationally, estuary based industry, responsible Local Authorities adjacent, the Dept. of the Marine, Harbour Authorities, exporters and importers, various environmental bodies both statutory and NGO’s.


  • Training courses and exercises are held annually to comply with members commitments under OPRC.
  • Even though each individual responder has to be trained and attend refresher courses once every three years, courses are held annually to ensure continuity.
  •  All exercises run by SEAPT are joint exercises and all members attending these exercises comply with OPRC. This avoids individual members having to run their own exercises and the constant in and out of equipment necessary to assist in that exercise.
  • Likewise with regard to training courses, members find it easier to send staff to a locally run course for two days, rather than sending to the Irish Coast Guard courses, which are held in the summer (peak time for County Council operations) and run for a week.
  •  It is worth noting that all importers of oil into the Shannon Estuary, and all relevant local authorities are members of SEAPT Ltd.
  • SEAPT Ltd. has a number of experts on hand to call on in the event of an incident to assist the spill clean operations. These include Environmental, Public Relations, and Wildlife response capability.
  • SEAPT Ltd. also has contractors available to move equipment, on site clean –up, boat hire, and experts in response management.


Benefits of being a member of SEAPT;

  • Oil Tracking model.
  • Hydrocarbon Baseline Study.
  • Environmental Assessment.
  • Web based GIS model.
  • Co – Operation between Authorities and Oil Companies.
  • Assistance with SFPC Plan and Auditing of Plan.
  • Large stockpile of equipment.
  • Good maintenance regime for stockpile.
  • Trained responders to call on.
  • Good public relations and recognised as good preparatory work in the event of an incident.
  • Good interaction between the Pollution Officers.
  • Advisory body to assist in decision making.
  • Well prepared wildlife response.
  • Access to recognised experts in response.




In case of an Environmental Emergency:

Contact: (Please remember to state clearly the position and nature of the Environmental emergency)
Marine Operations: +353 (0) 69 73103

Coastguard: 999/112

Duty Harbour Master: +353 (0) 69 73103 (Office Hours)
Duty Harbour Master: +353 (0) 87 2542266 (After Hours)

Port Radio: Shannon Ports Radio Ch16/11
Shannon Pilot Station Radio Ch 16/11
Shannon Coastguard Radio Ch 16/64

For Gardai, Fire, etc: 999/112 (state which service you require)

For equipment contact as per the cascade list


For more information or to place an enquiry please contact Hugh Conlon Shannon Estuary Anti-Pollution Team Harbour Office, Mill House, Foynes, County Limerick, Ireland Tel: +353 69 73100 Fax: +353 69 65142 Email: info@seapt.ie