Trawler runs aground in Betty's Bay

2014-02-27 17:40

(Lisel Krige)

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Cape Town – A fishing trawler that ran aground in Betty’s Bay early on Thursday morning has caused concern for the wellbeing of the Marine Protected Area (MPA) and penguin colony.

The 19m chokka vessel from Hout Bay was reportedly carrying 10 000 litres of diesel and engine oil when it ran aground close to the MPA at approximately 04:00.

According to an NSRI press release seven crew were reportedly able to escape the vessel by jumping onto rocks.

The skipper, however, drowned after allegedly hitting his head on the rocks.

IOL reports that a slick of diesel could be seen in the ocean where the vessel ran aground, and was possibly being washed in the direction of Betty’s Bay’s beaches, causing environmental concerns.

Justin Lawrence, spokesperson for Cape Nature’s Incident Command Centre, said in a statement that the wreck is approximately 5km away from Stony Point penguin colony, one of only two land-based colonies in South Africa.  

A seabird and animal rescue team has been stationed at Stony Point to observe seabirds for oil contamination.

The penguin colony will, however, remain closed to the public till further notice.  

The spill is being assessed by Samsa, who are being assisted by Cape Nature, Overstrand Municipality and Western Cape Disaster Risk Management.
Read more on:    travel  |  travel south africa

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