02 Apr POOLE HARBOUR COMMISSIONERS – PRESS RELEASE NO.8 – 02 April 2023
The clean-up operation has continued over the weekend. An estimated 140,000 litres of oily/water mix and over 5 tons of contaminated beach/soil material and contaminated materials have now been recovered. A cofferdam at the leakage site has been constructed and the pipeline has been sealed. Pipeline excavation work is continuing. Flushing and skimming operations continue non-stop in Ower Bay. The containment measures involving 11 booms are proving successful.
We understand that approximately thirty “slightly oiled” birds have been observed, however there have been no serious bird casualties. We are unaware of any other wildlife casualties as a result of the incident at this point. The RSPCA and RSPB are taking the lead in dealing with this issue.
The main focus of clean up operations is at Ower Bay, however substantial clean up is also taking place at the Goathorn and Arne peninsulas. Poole Harbour Commissioners are working closely with the Standing Environment Group (SEG), involving Environment Agency and Natural England.
There is no change in advice regarding recreational use of Poole Harbour. A NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) restriction remains in place in Poole Harbour until the 9th April. Commercial drones are being used as part of the response and have a dispensation from the NOTAM. All other drones should avoid the area.
PHC have a FAQ section on its website https://www.phc.co.uk/oil-spill-frequently-asked-questions-faqs/
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