On the 26th December the biggest earthquake in 40 years occurred between the Australian and Eurasian plates in the Indian Ocean. The quake triggered a tsunami – series of large waves – that spread thousands of kilometres over several hours.

A number of the major oil companies around the world utilised their own oil spill response aircraft, from the East Asia Response unit in Singapore, for the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) to use for delivering of aid material to victims of the Tsunami disaster.

The oil spill response industry have an obligation to respond immediately to international oil spill disasters, we are quick to react and have the environmental benefit as our main driver, why should this be any different in responding to other major environmental disasters? This paper will investigate the utilisation of global oil spill response equipment and personnel in aid of disaster relief. Oil spill response units like OSRL and EARL, and many more around the globe run as not for profit cooperatives, thus the commercial need will not be a driving factor in a venture of this type.

Although analysis of the practicalities involved in using such specialised equipment and personnel will be examined.

The author also hopes to investigate into the possible adaptation of such spill response resources but will also ask the question of who will pay if this new venture is considered.

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