Rustenburg – The clean-up and recovery of the spilled oil continued in Algoa Bay in the Eastern Cape on Thursday.
The oil spill occurred on Monday, during a ship-to-ship transfer.
The recovery teams continued with the aerial surveillance using a drone and oil recovery boats.
In a joint statement the SA Maritime Safety Authority, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, and the Transnet National Ports Authority said the two vessels involved were separated yesterday (on Wednesday) and the smaller vessel, MT Lefkas, has berthed at the port of Port Elizabeth.
All the oiled equipment has been removed from the water thus posing no pollution threat to the port and its operations.
The motor tanker Umnenga II is not able to enter the port yet due to the unavailability of a suitable berth.
Boat patrols by SANParks revealed no oil near the Algoa Bay Islands and no oiled birds were spotted.
“Members of the public are requested to report oiled birds and wildlife to SanParks or Sanccob Gqeberha at Cape Recife Nature Reserve on 063 942 4702, but not to approach or try to capture the affected wildlife.
“Rangers will continue to monitor the Islands for oiled birds retuning from their feeding grounds in Algoa Bay,” they said.
None of the oil has reached the beaches, most of the oil was cleaned and there is no oil sheen visible on the waters.
A fixed wing aircraft with the state-of-the-art oil sensing equipment has been charted from Cape Town to conduct a full search for any oil over the entire Algoa Bay area.
The aircraft would use high-definition cameras and oil detection systems to complete a full aerial surveillance of the Algoa Bay area.
“If there is any oil spotted the aircraft will also complete live oil spill modelling to determine the direction of oil, however the authorities are optimistic that most of the oil has been recovered and only the vessel hull cleaning needs to be completed.
“The Environmental Protection Vessel , the Sarah Baartman is on standby in Algoa Bay to assist with the clean-up operations.’
The investigation into Monday’s oil spill continues.