IT was waterproofs and wellies for council, fire and rescue and coastal officers from across the region as they took part in a training exercise in the Torridge estuary to help prepare for any potential pollution incident off the North Devon coast

The two day Beach Master course was run by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

After one day in the classroom, the learning was put into practice on day two as the trainees had to wade into the mud and waters of the River Torridge in a practical exercise, simulating a major oil spill in the estuary.

Officers from Torridge District Council were joined by others from partner agencies including Devon County Council, North Devon Council, East Devon Council, Plymouth City Council, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, Somerset County Council, Teignbridge District Council, Torbay Council and North Devon Coast and Countryside Service, who also learned about shoreline protection, health and safety, shoreline clean up operations and the management of oily waste.

Torridge’s lead member for Public Protection and Health and Safety, Cllr Andrew Saywell said: “It was a very worthwhile exercise and a great example of multi-agency working. Hopefully none of the officers will ever have to do this for real, but at least now if they do, they will be well equipped to handle such an emergency.”