Neil Chapman of the UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency is now leading the Correspondence Group established by the IMO OPRC-HNS Technical Group to develop Operational Guidelines providing practical guidance to assessing and responding to incidents involving sunken oil on the sea floor.


ISCO is participating in this task and is focused on gathering information on the practical experience and lessons learned by oil spill response professionals in the spill response community represented by ISCO at IMO.


At the last meeting of the Technical Group it was decided that the primary focus of work should be on negative buoyancy oil lying on the sea floor rather than oil contained in sunken wrecks. In terms of content, the Group agreed that it would also include references to other sources of information and a series of case studies. ISCO has previously appealed to its members and the wider response community and is grateful to those who have provided information. However, the recovery of sunken oil is a developing field of activity and, in order to produce the new IMO Technical Guidelines more information is needed. Within the community we represent are professionals who have direct experience of solving the problems involved; also manufacturers and other establishments carrying out R&D work to develop new techniques and equipment. ISCO would like to hear from you, so please drop a line to the Secretary at [email protected] if you think you can help.


Some time ago ISCO developed a template to help in writing up case studies. This is currently under review for possible improvement but can be used. You can download the template from the Downloads Page at 


You can also have a look at contributions received so far from ISCO members and others by going to:


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