Warning after suspected palm oil found on sands at Palm Bay

The substance found by dog walker Chris Smee

An oily substance found at Palm Bay could be palm oil.

The deposit, which was found by dog walker Chris Smee, who alerted Councillor Gary Taylor, at Foreness Bay by the water ski club, “smells of a soapy substance and is oily to touch.”

Cllr Taylor says the substance is either palm oil or blue ice -possibly contents from an aircraft toilet – but has notified Thanet council and says dog walkers should be aware.

Chris, who found the substance yesterday, said: “A large rock has been washed up on the beach with what appears to be lumps of palm oil stuck to it. You can see where – presumably – dogs have scratched at this substance and my two were certainly interested in licking and trying to it eat it.

“I got them away as soon as I could and fortunately there are no signs of any sickness. I’m not scaremongering as the substance may well be harmless, but better safe than sorry.”

Palm oil deposits, which are white lumpy substances, have been occurring more frequently following winter storms over the last couple of years, and may be better described as ‘mineral and vegetable oils’ – as palm oil is only one type.

Palm Oil is toxic to dogs. The yellow/white boulders of congealed oil smell similar to diesel. The high toxin count of the oil leads to vomiting and diarrhoea and can be fatal.

If you believe your dog has been in contact with the substance and are concerned about their health, contact your vet as soon as possible.

If anyone comes across what they suspect to be palm oil or any other harmful substance, please contact the council with as much information as possible – location, photo, size/quantity, and if it has been removed from the beach.

Any sightings should be reported to the council on 01843 577000.