Oil leaks onto Cape beaches

2011-09-03 14:59

Oil is leaking onto Bloubergstrand in Cape Town, from the stranded Seli One carrier, the city’s Disaster Risk Management said today.

A 1km stretch of beach has been affected, said Disaster Risk Management spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes.
The city was informed of the leak at 11pm last night, and cleansing is under way.

He said priority was being given to sensitive areas such as wetlands, sanctuaries including Robben Island, and Koeberg nuclear power station.

The Seli One has been stranded off the Blouberg coast since 2009, but rough sea conditions and strong winds were causing the ship to break apart, leaking remaining oil into the sea.

Seabird rehabilitation centre Sanccob has not received any oiled birds for cleaning as yet, said its CEO Venessa Strauss, but it was on standby.

“We are conducting beach patrols from Milnerton lagoon to Big Bay,” Strauss said.

Table Bay is an important feeding ground for many seabirds, including African penguins, gannets and cormorants, and any oil spill in the area threatens birds, she said.

Strauss said the public could contact SANCCOB 24 hours a day on 021 557 6155 if they had any concerns or found oiled birds.

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