What action should be taken if a spillage occurs during bunkering?

The master should take immediate steps to:

(1) stop the bunkering operation; (2) minimise the spread of the oil in the harbour, taking all possible action to contain the spillage until shore assistance arrives, but without using any dispersants for which approval had not previously been obtained; (3) stop any hot work on board or on nearby vessels and quays; (4) contact: harbour authorities (on VHF if possible); ship’s agent; P&I club correspondent; owners/managers; (5) make statutory reports to the MAIB, coastal State Administration and port authority; (6) obtain samples of the oil from which the spillage came; (7) establish the facts and (before investigators arrive, if possible) write a full report of the occurrence, stating all efforts taken by ship’s crew to deal with the spillage; (8) attempt to establish the quantity of oil spilled; and (9) together with officers and crew, work closely with the local authorities in the clean-up operation. All procedures should be in conformity with the SOPEP or SMPEP.


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Whilst bunkering, oil is seen on the dock water, apparently coming from the bunker barge. Should the ship take any action?

What are the possible consequences of not having proper procedures for bunkering operations?