City and maritime authorities cleaning up oil spill along Blaauwberg Beach
3 Sep 2011
On Friday night, 2 September at 23h00 the City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre were informed of an oil slick on the coastline at Blaauwberg. The clean-up operations were hampered last night as a result of poor visibility and rough sea conditions.
At first daylight response teams from various agencies assembled at the disaster command post opposite the SELI 1 vessel. From the initial assessment it was determined that approximately one kilometre of coastline has been affected by the oil slick.
The initial assessment was followed-up by an aerial surveillance to determine the extent of the oil slick and threat to marine life and the environment in the immediate area. The Cape Zone Oil Spill Plan that is coordinated by the Department of Environmental Affairs has been activated to ensure a coordinated approach between all relevant responding agencies and role players.
The City, Department of Environmental Affairs and South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has stepped up its efforts to ensure that a coordinated approach is undertaken to ensure maximum response and management of the incident to prevent further pollution to the marine and coastal environment.
Transnet: National Ports Authority is also on-scene and has offered to assist the response operations by booming off the Milnerton Lagoon as a precautionary measure.
The Koeberg Nuclear Power Station has also been informed of the situation and is on high-alert for possible threat to the in-take basin at the plant.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and Southern African National Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) are also present at the scene and will provide the necessary assistance to any wildlife that may be affected by the oil spill.
Members of the public are advised that no recreational activities such as swimming, boating, kite surfing, canoeing/paddle skiing will be permitted in the affected area. As a further precaution the public are advised not to consume any shellfish or to collect bait along the coastline.
The oil that washed ashore will be removed to the Vissershok Landfill Site where it will be disposed appropriately. SAMSA has advised that most of the oil in the fuel tanks was removed during salvage operations, and that there are small amounts of oil which remain on the vessel. This oil may be released when the vessel breaks up further and may be deposited on the beaches.
Members of the public are kindly requested to limit their sightseeing activities to areas beyond the high water level to avoid contact with sea water and the contaminated area.
The relevant authorities are conducting continuous monitoring at sea and along the coastline of the movement of the oil.
Tel: 080 911 4357
Cell: 084 711 7709
Dr. Yazeed Peterson
Tel: 021 819 2450
Cell: 083 530 3127
Issued by: Department of Environmental Affairs
3 Sep 2011
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