Cape Town - A thick layer of oil from the stranded trawler, Seli 1, has washed ashore on the Table View beachfront, the City of Cape Town's disaster risk management centre said on Saturday.

“It is believed that the rough seas and high swells that were experienced yesterday and extended overnight resulted in the movement of the vessel and caused the oil spill from the vessel,” spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said in a statement.

Several of the City's teams had started clean-up operations, which would run from Saturday to Sunday.

“It has also been discovered that the one crane of the vessel has disintegrated and it is suspected that it has fallen into the water.”

The extent of the spill would be made known later on Saturday after an aerial assessment of the beachfront.

The public were warned to steer clear of the wreckage.

“The directive issued by the SA Maritime Safety Authority is still enforced that no bathing and other recreational activities are permitted in the immediate area of the wreckage,” Solomons-Johannes said. - Sapa