29 Mar POOLE HARBOUR COMMISSIONERS – PRESS RELEASE NO.5 – 29 MARCH 2023
Poole Harbour Commissioners can confirm that the clean up operation is ongoing, despite some adverse weather conditions. The Onsite Response at Ower Bay continues 24 hours a day, supported by strategic planning from PHC Command & Control.
PHC incident response Command & Control have made significant progress with shoreline Assessment and Cleanup Technique (SCAT), covering almost 100 km of shoreline and recovering approximately 14,000 litres of oil/water mix and approximately 1,500 kg of oil sediment.
The Dorset Strategic Co-ordination Group (SCG) has been meeting regularly since Sunday to assist with the incident, calling upon the expertise of numerous agencies including Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council, Dorset Police, Dorset Council, National health England, Environment Agency and Natural England. This has proved an excellent example of multi-agency collaboration in response to a major incident.
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. Testing has taken place and Investigations are continuing at this time.
The UK Health Security Agency has asked that 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.
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.
It is unlikely that there will be any long term health effects from short exposures (eg days). Anyone who has come into contact with the spill should wash immediately with soap and water for ten minutes. If eyes have come into contact with the spill, they should be rinsed with water. Anyone who has been exposed to fuel oil and is feeling unwell please contact NHS 111 or seek medical attention from your GP.
Jim Stewart, CEO – Poole Harbour Commissioners