The Kiani Satu sank at 4am this morning, approximately 200km south of Knysna. She lies 1km below sunlight, on the bottom of the Indian Ocean, her cargo of oil imprisoned by cold water and pressure but, like all inmates, hoping to escape one day. We’re hoping that the oil will be removed as soon as possible as opposed to the possibility that no plan will go into action until there’s a leak (which could be years from now). But with no talk of further action and press releases/other media only sounding relief, the Kiani Satu’s dark belly is likely to become a future administration’s problem.
A disaster that would have affected Knysna's fragile economy and ecology was avoided.
SANCCOB has so far rescued 239 birds and are keeping their eyes out for more. Executive Director, Margaret Roestorf, said, “Once again the suddenness of the Kiani Satu spill shocks us into realizing the speed at which oil spills plays out and reinforces the need for preparedness. Two years ago SANCCOB made strategic decisions in order for our Oiled Wildlife Unit to be ready to mobilize quickly anywhere in Africa or Sub Antarctic, and under the able direction of Venessa Strauss, this is proving to be one of the best decisions we could possibly have made. Effective spill response requires collaboration and as always the Kiani Satu response would not be possible without all the partners engaged in saving the birds and the environment. We are also very grateful for all the volunteers who selflessly give up their time to help.”
Thank you to all the people who did their job well! Special thanks to Captain Campbell from SAMSA and the crew aboard the tug, Smit Amandla. Also thanks to the volunteers who were in a position to have their services accepted.
It was Captain Nigel Campbell who said that he gave “compliments to all involved and that if the spirit of this operation (were) carried forward to the country, we’d be living in paradise.”
Despite the hard work, let’s not forget that we were also very lucky and that the Fisheries Department was useless. May this be a lesson South Africa learns from.
We were glad to provide you the most extensive coverage of the Kiani Satu grounding, oil spill and eventual sinking. “We” being Love Knysna, Knysna Keep, SAMSA, SANCCOB and various informers and members of the public. Unfortunately, Knysna Municipality chose to be 100% uncooperative with us regards communication and even lied about it (story for another day).
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