Robben Island penguins hit by Seli 1 oil

2012-09-02 22:31

Cape Town - Fuel leaking from a Turkish bulk carrier wreck that has been smashed up by a storm has contaminated at least five penguins on South Africa's Robben Island, emergency services said on Sunday.

One penguin from the island had been rescued for treatment and cleaning and a team would also capture the others, they added.

"At this stage it is not clear how seriously the birds are oiled, however veterinarians will assess the birds and determine where they should be released," said a statement from the service.

The fuel escaped from the wreck of the Seli 1 freighter, which went down in September 2009 and the discharge has already polluted two nearby beaches. It began leaking the fuel after a weekend storm smashed what was left of the vessel into three pieces.

A trail of fuel eight nautical miles (15km) in length and three metres wide extended from the vessel between Cape Town Harbour and Robben Island, the statement said.

The area was expected to be cleaned up on Monday, the weather conditions having prevented any earlier intervention.

The transport ministry requested the release of R40m to remove the wreck, emergency services said.

  • gerrit.prinsloo1 - 2012-09-03 09:50

    4 years later and the f'n thing is still stranded on our coast full of pollutants, why doesnt anybody just install a pump installation on the fn thing an whomever comes by can just fill the f up./((

      hermann.hanekom - 2012-09-03 16:54

      The authorities must be taken to court for neglect of duty

  • dnxumalo2 - 2012-09-03 10:06

    That is how civilization works.destroying our environment and animals for money.

  • ryan.a.smith.3958 - 2012-09-03 10:58

    wow how useless is our government that they leave that wreck there for 4 years waiting for it to spew its noxious load into our seas. and the damn owners of that ship.

  • iceman196 - 2012-09-03 11:37

    bloody stupid human race, always messing things up, get well soon penquins

  • Jo.Davies123 - 2012-09-03 12:02

    I fail to see how the SA government can be blamed for this. They have been fighting this legally for for 3 years (2009) the ship has been stranded. If we had paid the R40m to have this cleaned up, the outcry would have been far worse. I agree the environmental impact is terrible, but weigh up the differences and it mmakes more sense.

  • robert.burnett.108 - 2012-09-03 12:23

    if it went down in 2009 why hasnt it been removed already. some one is draging thier feet. and this is the new SOUTH AFRICA

  • Surts - 2012-09-03 13:50

    so tragic :(

  • GnuSaunders - 2012-09-03 15:26

    If the city of Cape Town knew there was still oil in the seli 1, how could they responsibly have left the wreck without draining the oil? They should realise that this is on their hands because they ignored the problem.

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