Oil spill during bunkering operation being investigated
SAMSA to investigate oil spill
SOUTH AFRICA, Port Elizabeth: The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) will investigate the circumstances around a 400 litre oil spill that appears to have occurred during a refuelling operation in Algoa Bay over the weekend.
Between 200 and 400 litres of oil spilled in the Port of Ngqura 20km north east of Port Elizabeth at around 4.40am on Saturday morning while bunkering services company, SA Marine Fuels, was refuelling the Liberian flgagged MV Chrysanthi S.
SA Marine Fuels immediately activated an oil spillage control exercise to contain the oil spread. SAMSA and other authorities will conduct a check of the beaches and islands off Port Elizabeth today to confirm that the oil will not reach land, says acting SAMSA CEO Sobantu Tilayi.
“SAMSA will conduct a comprehensive investigation into this unfortunate incident. While responsibility for preventing pollution by ships at sea no longer resides with SAMSA but with the Department of Environmental Affairs, we take our role as the custodian of the country’s maritime affairs and for promoting South Africa’s maritime economy extremely seriously.
“We know the impact that an oil spill can have, from the marine wildlife affected to the people who earn their living from the sea and the local economy, and we will do everything in our power not only to ensure that the impact of this spill are contained, but also to ensure that it never happens again,” Tilayi adds.
Over the weekend, the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries issued a statement highlighting that weather conditions were hampering wildlife assessment, but that the situation was under control.
The oil was not expected to reach the coast and currently moving in an offshore direction. Transnet National Ports Authority, South African National Parks (SANParks), the South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) and other environmental bodies have been notified and are monitoring the situation along with our department.