River Neath Emergency Plan – Updates

Date Action Comments
13.07.2023 Re Issue Plan  

River Neath Emergency Plan - Updates

Date Action Comments

Section One – Introduction and Policy

1.1 Introduction

The Neath Port Authority Emergency Plan is a contingency plan developed to deal with maritime emergencies involving safety of life within the Harbour Limits. It has been prepared by Neath Port Authority in conjunction with Emergency Responders, Port Facility Operators, Local Authorities, Monkstone Sailing and Cruising Club and Environmental Bodies.
The Neath Port Authority, as a statutory body, has a ‘Marine Operations Plan’ which is in compliance with the Port Marine Safety Code and the supporting ‘Guide to
Good Practice on Port Marine Operations’

This Emergency Plan does not include :-

Maritime emergencies that have caused or could cause marine pollution.

The response to these incidents is covered in the Neath Port Authority Oil Spill Contingency Plan, the Local Authority On-Shore Oil Pollution Plan and the MCA National Contingency Plan for Marine Pollution.

Responsibilities under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 :-

Harbour Authorities are classed as Category Two Responders and have only one statutory duty under the Act :-

To provide information to Category One Responders to help them in their Business Continuity Planning and Emergency Response activities. However the Act does leave the door open for future requirements.

Close cooperation is maintained with the Department for Transport (Maritime Transport Security Division) under the International Ship and Port Facility Code.

1.2 Objectives

This plan details the command, control and communications structure to draw together and co-ordinate resources to deal with any marine emergency occurring within the Harbour Limits.

See Map 1 for boundaries to seaward and Map 2 boundaries to landward.

1.3 Responsibility

Nothing in this plan shall relieve any person or organisation from any statutory obligation or duty.

1.4 Marine Emergency

A marine emergency in the context of the Neath Port Emergency Plan is an event or situation which threatens serious damage to human welfare.

1.5 Actuation

In event of an emergency occurring within the Port Authority limits, the Harbour Master or other responsible officer will set in motion the Port’s Emergency Plan.

1.6 Priorities

When the Neath Port Authority Plan is activated the priorities are :-

  • The safety of human life.
  • The avoidance or reduction of marine pollution.
  • The avoidance or reduction of any other consequential loss or damage.
  • The safeguarding and salvage of property.

The following incidents would result in the implantation of this Emergency Plan :-

  • An explosion or fire ashore or aboard a vessel underway.
  • Release of toxic or flammable liquids / vapours ashore or aboard a vessel.
  • Serious collision of a vessel(s) in or adjacent to Neath Harbour.
  • Serious grounding of a vessel in or adjacent to Neath Harbour.
  • Vessel in danger of sinking in or adjacent to Neath Harbour.
  • Incident involving a potentially large number of casualties.
  • Serious environmental pollution.

Section Two – Actions and Operations

2.1 Scope for action required

Depending on the incident, any of the following actions may be required :-

  • Raising the Alarm – alerting essential services / Category One Responders Establishing an Incident Control Centre.
  • Control of shipping and of vessels in danger; the possible closure of Neath Harbour.
  • Safeguarding shore personnel and property.
  • Assisting Emergency Responders with rescue operations, as required.
  • Assisting Medical Teams with sorting of casualties (Triage).
  • Provision of transport facilities afloat (subject to tidal constraints).

2.2 Raising the Alarm – Vessel(s) alongside

In the event of any incident on a vessel alongside a berth, the Master will :-

  • Invoke the Ship’s Emergency Plan and may sound repeated short blasts on whistle.
  • Telephone emergency services, giving location, nature of incident and cargo details.
  • Evacuate non-essential / shore personnel to quayside Assembly Point.
  • Advise Ship’s Agent by telephone.

The Ship’s Agent or Facility Foreman will inform the Neath Port Authority and if necessary invoke the Port Facility Emergency Plan (See 2.4 Shipboard Operation).

2.3 Raising the Alarm – Vessel underway

A vessel underway and restricted in its manoeuvrability whilst in the navigation channel of the River Neath, the Master / Pilot will contact the Harbour Master / Port Authority by telephone and if deemed appropriate will contact UK Coastguard on DSC Ch 70 or VHF Ch 16.

2.4 Port Facility and Shipboard Operations

In event of an incident at a Facility or on a vessel alongside, the Facility Manager or Ship’s Agent will, after contacting Emergency Services, inform the Neath Port Authority giving the following details :-

  • Nature of Incident
  • Location of vessel
  • Number of casualties
  • Fire/flammable vapour risk
  • Confirm all vessels alongside are informed of incident
  • Additional hazards

2.5 Control of Vessel movements

The Neath Port Authority and the Harbour Master will be advised of an incident via UK Coastguard, Neath Pilotage Service or a Port Facility. Emergency Responders will be made aware of any shipping movements within the Harbour Limits and advised accordingly.

2.6 MCA - UK Coastguard (Category One Responder)

UK Coastguard will be informed of any maritime incident that occurs within Harbour Limits and will assume responsibility for Search and Rescue (SAR) operations in conjunction with RNLI Lifeboats and Coastguard Rescue Teams.

Vessels within Harbour Limits are required to maintain watch on VHF Ch 16 and VHF DSC Ch 70 under GMDSS regulations and UK Coastguard has responsibility for the integrity and control of designated maritime radio frequencies at all times.

The Harbour Master will maintain a record of any incident that he may become involved with and will ensure communications are maintained between the Port Authority and Coastguard personnel.

Section Three – Emergency Response ashore

3.1 Role of the Police at a Major Incident

  • The saving of life together with other Emergency Services.
  • The coordination of the Emergency Services, Local Authorities and other organisations.
  • To secure, protect and preserve the scene.
  • Control sightseers and traffic through the use of cordons.
  • Investigation of the incident, obtaining and securing of evidence in conjunction with other investigative bodies where applicable.
  • Collection and distribution of casualty information. Identification of the dead on behalf of HM Coroner.
  • Family liaison officer role.
  • The prevention of crime.

3.2 Role of the Fire and Rescue Service at a Major Incident

  • Life-saving through search and rescue.
  • Fire-fighting and fire prevention.
  • Rendering humanitarian services.
  • Management of hazardous materials and protecting the environment.
  • Provision of qualified scientific advice in relation to HAZMAT incidents via their scientific advisors.
  • Salvage and damage control.
  • Hazard assessment and safety management within the inner cordon.
  • Decontamination of contaminated persons who may have been exposed to Chemical, Biological, Radiological or Nuclear contaminates (CBRN)

3.3 Role of the Ambulance Service at a Major Incident

  • To save life together with the other Emergency Services.
  • To provide treatment, stabilisation and care of those injured at the scene.
  • To provide appropriate transport, medical staff, equipment and resources.
  • To triage and determine the priority evacuation needs of those injured and to establish a safe location for casualty clearing.
  • To provide a focal point at the incident for all NHS and other medical resources.
  • To nominate and alert the receiving hospitals to receive those injured.
  • Decontamination of persons exposed to hazardous substances.

3.4 Role of the Local Authority at a Major Incident

  • Support to responding Emergency agencies.
  • Provide short term accommodation for displaced persons.
  • Provide temporary mortuaries if required.
  • Liaise with public and voluntary agencies for support functions.
  • Provide traffic engineering and highways services, signing and clearing of debris.
  • Take the lead role in the rehabilitation of the area and the people affected.

3.5 Cordons

Shoreside incidents are managed using ‘Cordons’ which seal off areas where specific roles are carried out and are established for the following reasons :-

To guard the scene, protect the public, control sightseers and prevent unauthorised interference with evidence or property.

The Police, in conjunction with other agencies, will establish 3 cordons :-

  1. Inner cordon provides immediate security of the hazard area.
  2. Outer cordon seals off an extensive area around the Inner cordon.
  3. Traffic cordon set up at or beyond the Outer cordon to prevent unauthorised vehicles accessing the area surrounding the scene.

3.6 Command and Control – Gold, Silver and Bronze

Each organisation will have a Command and Control structure with roles and responsibilities for those managing the incident.

Gold, Silver and Bronze are titles of functions adopted by each of the Emergency Services / responding agencies and are role related not rank related.

These functions are equivalent to those described as ‘strategic’ – ‘tactical’ and ‘operational’ in other documents about emergency procedures.

3.7 Neath Port Authority – Incident Control Centre

Neath Port Authority will open an Incident Control Centre at their office in Neath where there are landline and mobile telephone connections and also Internet services available.

The Harbour Master may be located closer to an incident at a Forward Command Post and liaise directly with the Neath Port Authorities Control Centre, plus the Emergency Responders, UK Coastguard or the Neath Pilotage Service.

Section Four – Strategic concerns

4.1 Sabotage / Terrorism

While security measures are in place both on board sea-going vessels and at Port Facility sites under International Ship and Port Facility Code regulations, all agencies will be aware of the threat of terrorist attack and the need for vigilance.

4.2 Road Transport Infrastructure

Two transport arteries cross the River Neath at Briton Ferry. The High Level road bridges of the M4 and A48 are of strategic importance and vessels navigate beneath these whilst on passage to or from River berths at Giants Wharf and Neath Abbey. Various incidents have occurred on both bridges.

Section Five - Contact Directory

ABP Port Talbot (Port Talbot is administered from Swansea)

Address: Puckey House, The Docks, Port Talbot West Glamorgan, SA13 1RB
Tel: 01639 885171

ABP Swansea

Capt. Rod Lewis (Harbour Master)
Direct: 02920 835026
Mobile: 07958 908329
Switchboard Cardiff (LPS): 08456 018870
Fax Cardiff: 02920 835001

Neath Port Authority

Captain J.M. Voisey (Harbour Master)
Office: 01639 633486
Mobile (After Hours): 07785 302481

Neath Port Authority
Direct: 01639 633486

Mr H N James (Chairman)
Tel (After Hours): 01639 820955
Mobile: 07791 389 073

Mr R Minty (Port Manager)
Tel (After Hours): 01639 620209
Mobile: 07769 114 704

Wharf Operators

Cardiff Office: 02920 488221
Stuart Browne (Designated Person: 07484 938523
Andy Jones (Deputy Designated Person/Security Officer): 07970 940297

Tarmac Berth (Iron Works Wharf)
Berth (Leigh Griffiths Emergency): 01639 821846

Dave Watmore (Berth Supervisor): 07483 362767

Kyle Cowdery (Deputy Berth Supervisor): 07713 999301

Monkstone Cruising & Sailing Club (Marina West Bank)

Tel: 01792 812229

Mr John Pugh (Commodore)
Direct: 07759 204381

Mr Tim Maciver (Secretary)
Direct: 01656 782223
Mobile: 07971 891769

Mr Rowly Roberts (Treasurer)
Mobile: 07825 178753

Briton Ferry Stevedoring Ltd (Giants Wharf)

Office: 01639 825700
Fax: 01639 822912

Neath Abbey Freight Services Ltd (Neath Abbey Wharf)

Office: 01792 472981
Fax: 01792 648170

Simsmetals UK (South West) Ltd

Richard Morgan office 01792 816040 (Neath Abbey Wharf)
Richard Morgan mobile 07774 896188
Huw Joseph Mobile 07824 413699
Fax 01792 817504

Morris & Co (Handlers) Ltd

Martin George: 07482 304185 (Neath Abbey Wharf)
Kate Bignall: 07539 170670
Head Office: 01302 864044

Camplas Holdings Ltd

Tony Williams: 01656 646378 (New Wharf)
Tony Williams: 07734 361033
Head Office: 01656 657482


HM Coastguard, Milford Haven
Maritime Rescue Co-ordinator Centre (MRCC) 01646 690909 


Incidents and Emergencies
NRW should be informed of all oil spillages regardless of the level of the incident. Notification can be made by calling:

Natural Resources Wales' Emergency Hotline
0300 0653266

Or, direct to the Incident Communications Centre
Cardiff Tel: 0300 0653266

Both lines are operational 24 hours/day, 365 days/year.

Persons requiring advice or guidance on any aspect of the contingency plan which involves Natural Resources Wales, can contact their local Environment Management Team on (0300 0653266) during normal working hours.

(Neath Port Talbot and Swansea Borough Councils)

Address: The Quays, Brunel Way, Briton Ferry, Neath
Tel: 01639 686899 / 01639 686402

Neil Thomas (Business Continuity Officer)
Tel: 07896 784993


Mid & West Wales Fire Duty Officer
Tel: 0370 6060699

West Wales Control Room
Tel: 01268 909404

Steve Owen (County Oil Pollution Officer)
Address: The Quays, Brunel Way, Briton Ferry, Neath
Tel Work: 01639 686304
Mob: 07770 728762
Home: 07951 672586

Ms Sam Naylor (Secretary)
Tel: 01792 636999
Call Centre Tel: 01792 635600
24 Hour Tel: 07796 275212


24 hrs. Office Hours:
Please telephone our dedicated Spill Response number (during office hours, 9am-5pm)

Mondays to Fridays : 0300 2002024
Out of Office Duty Officer 07770 977825

A member of Defra’s Marine Pollution Response Team will give immediate priority to any calls made to this dedicated number.

Regional Contacts:

Wales District Fisheries Office at Milford Haven
Tel: 01646 693412
Fax: 01646 696030


Tradebe Gwent LTD
Tel. 01633 270999

Manager Mark Griffiths
24hr Mob: 07442 499260

Shift Manager
Mob: 07870 253292


24 hour callouts: 01202 653558


South Wales Police
Tel: 101

Baglan Bay Power Station

24hr Main Control Room Tel 01639 876030
Shift Team Leader Tel 07876 791346

Pilot Vessel Crew

Ross Doig: 07580932427
Gareth Cox: 07817 989842
Cameron Worth: 07720 936105
Conor Doig: 07853 374247
David Jones: 07811 344819

Ashley Nichols: 07474 617661

Sandy Doig: 07763 837839

Tharren Lewis: 07983 653950

Boatmen Services

Jaime Voisey
07983 149 448

Also in Policies & Guidance: