Rough seas, swells hamper Seli clean-up

2012-09-01 19:11
Seli 1 (MyNuus24)

Seli 1 (MyNuus24)

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Cape Town - Rough seas and high swells are hampering efforts to clear up the oil spill from the Turkish bulk carrier Seli 1, which is lying off Cape Town's Table View beachfront.

The Seli ran aground in September 2009.

Cape Town's disaster risk management centre says an aerial surveillance was conducted at 14:00 on Saturday afternoon by Kuswag 9, the marine patrol aircraft of the department of environmental affairs, to determine the extent of the oil spill.
The assessment revealed that the Seli had completely broken into three parts and lowered in the water, said centre spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes. 
The footage was analysed and it further indicated “black oil fingers” up to 1 metre wide trickling toward Dolphin Beach.
"The footage also indicated that black oil was visible on the high watermark at Dolphin Beach and 800m long.  It further extended on the beach opposite the Rietvlei Wetland Reserve that was measured at 500m.
"The surveillance assessment by the marine patrol aircraft was extended further north from the vessel until the Koeberg Nuclear Station and no oil at sea or on the coast was detected."


The one crane of the vessel that had disintegrated could not be seen from the air and it is presumed that it is submerged under the water, Solomons-Johannes added.
He said the city’s disaster response teams attempted to clear up the oil spill emanating from the Seli 1 at the Table View beachfront. However, oil kept washing ashore due to the rough seas and high swells in the area.
"The operation had to be terminated by city’s disaster response teams as a result and will resume on Monday when sea conditions will improve. However, routine inspections will be conducted."
An appeal was made to the public to steer clear of the wreckage as the conditions in the area were considered dangerous.

A directive issued by the SA Maritime Authority prohibiting any bathing and other recreational activities will remain in force, Solomons-Johannes said.

The wreckage is monitored on a continuous basis by the city and it will respond to emergency situations such as oil spills from the vessel.
The city is still in bilateral discussions and engagement with the department of transport regarding finding a permanent solution in respect of the wreckage.
"The department of transport has submitted a request to National Treasury to seek funding estimated at about R40m [based on the calculations conducted last year] to salvage the wreckage, said Solomons-Johannes. 
The matter will serve before Cabinet during September 2012 and approval is awaited.
Read more on:    cape town  |  maritime  |  seli 1

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