Oil deposits found between Viking Bay and Western Undercliff

Ramsgate's Western Undercliff Photo Brian Whitehead

Thanet council is carrying out inspections of the coastline following deposits of oil being found in the water between Viking Bay in Broadstairs and the Western Undercliff in Ramsgate yesterday (March 10).

The deposits, which were cleared by the council’s Coastal team, were discovered after reports of sightings of oil along the coastline in the Dover district between Kingsdown and Sandwich/Stour Estuary.

Inspections resumed again at low tide today.

The oil has affected marine life with medics from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) being called out.

BDMLR medic Sheila Stone said: “Medics collected two oiled Razorbill birds reported by members of the public and an RSPCA volunteer, who is also a medic, transported them to Mallydams.

“We also picked up a Guillemot from Joss Bay on Friday and an RSPCA volunteer transported it to Mallydams. They are seeing quite a few around the coast. We had a call-out to a beaver and a dead one has just been found at Deal covered in oil along with a cormorant.

“We have received notification from Marine Management Org, that they have received a report from Cefas regarding the oil pollution along our Kent coast. A deceased oil covered cormorant and deceased oil covered beaver have been found on the beach in Deal.

“The current source of the oil is undetermined but it appears to be making its way towards South Foreland.”

Thanet council says: “The council is working with Kent County Council, Dover District Council, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the Environment Agency.

“Although the deposits found in Thanet are very small, members of the public are advised to stay away from any deposits of oil and to report any sightings to the council on 01843 577000.

“Dog owners are asked to keep their dogs on a lead at all times when on the beaches in this location.”

A HM Coastguard spokesperson said: “HM Coastguard has received reports of small amounts of oil in locations on the coastline between Kingsdown and Sandwich Bay, Kent.

“The first report was made at about 1.50pm on 8 March. The area has been surveyed by HM Coastguard fixed-wing aircraft as well as Coastguard Rescue Teams from Deal, Langdon Battery and Margate. HM Coastguard is responding with partner agencies and local authorities.”

UPDATE:

Small deposits of oil were found, and cleared again on March 11 by the council’s Coastal team at bays between Viking Bay in Broadstairs and the Western Undercliff in Ramsgate.

Inspections are continuing and signs are being put in place at the affected bays to alert members of the public.

9 Comments

  1. We have had had a number of hopper/dredger ships working in the area. I wonder if they have disturbed a wreck

  2. For a minute I thought Thanet had struck oil, but no, it is more likely a ship illegally tank cleaning at night.This is a risky enterprise as the authorities can trace it back nowadays. Remember there are a lot of ships entering and leaving the Thames estuary nearby and one of them is probably the culprit.

  3. Someone said birds were being oiled up in Thanet and in my haste to discover the location, I spilt my ice cold beer on my lap and, well, what was the article about again?

  4. Vant blame Southern Water for this!!

    Unless people are flushing Castrol down their drains Hahahahahahaha

  5. Thanet Green Party are aware that ship tranferring oil between them in the Channel is a practise used by some shipping operators. We believe this is to avoid tax. It is a legal but high risk strategy which cold result in a much bigger spill.

    • I think that is unlikely because of the difficulty actually doing it Most ships don’t have the pumping arrangements to transfer oil in any quantity.Ships systems are designed to receive oil and pump it from tank to tank and not overboard.They would also need a Derrick(s) and a lot of flexible pipe I suppose if a tanker was involved it might be possible but of course even if it was done at night and in perfect conditions, surveillance radar and trackers/transponders would give them away. However,I have been out of the industry for some time so things may have changed.

      • hi George, a small oil spill is bad. A big one could ruin the tourist season, that means bankruptcy for many local business. I want to know the possible causes to assess the risk of this & do what we can to mitigate the risk. Any ‘insider knowledge’ you have and are happy to share please contact me on [email protected]

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