A simulation exercise is underway at Grand Harbour this morning on a Costa cruise liner, to enable the authorities to be prepared in the event of such an emergency.
As a result of the exercise a number of ambulances, Civil Protection vehicles and other emergency-related movements are evident on the roads this morning.
The simulation exercise on the Costa neo Riviera will involve a mass evacuation. In this scenario a fire has started in the engine room, with the possibility of the fire spreading. There are five injured persons on board the vessel, which is 17 miles off Grand Harbour.
The evacuation will start with the evacuation of the injured parties onto a vessel of the Armed Forces, which is hove to just below the cruise liner. The vessel will then enter Port, where fire trucks are awaiting its arrival.
When the cruise liner enters Pinto Wharf, passengers will embark in a normal manner, followed by evacuation of the ship’s staff, which will be a simulation just as if it had taken place on the high seas. With the assistance of AFM vessels the staff will scale down the seaward side of the vessel, and Civil Protection personnel will also gain access to the vessel from the same seaward side.
This exercise is being carried out by Transport Malta together with Costa Crociere, and is co-financed by the European Union.