What exactly has leaked into the harbour?

Perenco advise that a small amount of reservoir fluid (approximately 85% water and 15% oil) escaped from the pipeline.

Are people coming into contact with the oil in danger?

It is likely that people in close proximity to the contamination will be able to smell and taste fuel oil vapours, but by removing yourself from the source of fuel oil contamination, any symptoms should start to resolve.

It is unlikely there will be any long term health effects from short exposures (e.g. days).

Exposure to fuel oils on the skin may result in irritation, drying and cracking. Short term inhalation of vapours (and odour) may cause nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, and respiratory tract irritation. Drinking contaminated water may cause symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

Anyone who has been exposed to fuel oil and is feeling unwell please contact NHS 111 or seek medical attention from your GP.

Can I go to the beach?

The UK Health Security Agency has asked that people avoid using the beaches and water in the Poole Harbour area for any recreational use until further updates become available. This includes but is not limited to hand gathering of shellfish, swimming, bathing, watersports, fishing and angling.

Can I help clean up?

We continue to ask that members of the public do not try and help with the clean-up at Poole Harbour, specialist trained teams are working hard on the ground.

I’ve seen some oil in the water. What should I do?

There are few areas in the harbour that have a light sheen which where possible can be absorbed or will naturally disperse, and any sightings should be reported to harbour control on 01202 440 230.

Can I walk my dog by Poole Harbour?

Pets should also be kept away from the water in the Poole Harbour area.

Is it safe to eat shellfish from the harbour?

Key stakeholders in the shellfish industry have been advised not to market shellfish harvested from Poole Harbour from Sunday 26 March onwards. This advice will remain in place until further assessment has been made and advice has been received from the Food Standards Agency and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) regarding safety.

BCP Council and Southern IFCA are continuing to work closely with CEFAS and the FSA to ensure that appropriate sampling and testing is prioritised to help inform this current position.

I’ve found oil washed up on my land

In the event of local landowners discovering fluid or oil on their land and or near the foreshore, Poole Harbour Commissioners should be contacted on pooleharbourcommissioners@phc.co.uk for assistance.

Can I still drink the water?

Your domestic water supply is not affected by this oil leak. You should never drink sea water. Drinking contaminated water may cause symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

Are the lakes in Poole Park affected by the leak?

Poole Park lagoon is considered safe to use, with effective measures in place at the sluice channel. The businesses operating around the lake are ensuring that operations and recreation in or on the water are risk assessed and updated frequently to capture any change in condition.

Can I make a claim?

Send an email to: uk.wytchfarm.claims@uk.perenco.com