Samsa investigates 400-litre oil spill

One of early photos of the oil spillage incident during refuelling of a vessel off the coast of Port Elizabeth in the Indian Ocean on Saturday morning. Source: Samsa

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) yesterday launched an investigation into an oil spill off the coast of Port Elizabeth on Saturday morning.

An estimated 200 to 400 litres of fuel was spilled as a result of an overflow during a fuel transfer from South African Marine Fuels (SAMF) to the Liberian-flagged MV Chrysanthi S carrier in Algoa Bay.

“The incident took place at approximately 04h40 during offshore bunkering operations in Anchorage 1 of the Port of Ngqura,” the Department of Environmental, Forestry and Fisheries said in a recent statement.

SAMF immediately activated an oil spillage control exercise to contain the spread on water.

Current weather conditions in the bay had hindered operations but the situation was reported to be under control, the department added.

“The oil is not expected to reach the coast – it is currently moving in an offshore direction.”

Samsa CEO Sobantu Tilayi confirmed that they would be working with other authorities and environmental organisations to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the “unfortunate” incident.

“We will do everything in our power not only to ensure that the impact of the spill is contained, but also to ensure that it never happens again,” Tilayi added.


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