OIL SPILL OFF THE COAST OF THE ISLE OF WIGHT

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UPDATED: The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) are monitoring the Island’s coastline for evidence of oil washing ashore following an environmental incident off Bembridge, close to the Nab Tower.

An unknown amount of oil has been accidentally leaked into the sea around 3 miles off the East coast of the Island as a consequence of what officials believe to be 2 vessels refuelling at sea.

Her Majesty’s Coastguard Pollution plane has been conducting surveillance flights in the area to assess the extent of the spill and it’s track. Meanwhile Coastguard officers from Bembridge have been patrolling the Island’s beaches.

Local fisherman have reported that their buoys have been covered in oil, leading to fears the toxic substance could soon wash up on our shores.

A spokesperson for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has told Island Echo:

“At 09:00 yesterday (Wednesday 20th December) an oil spill was reported 3-4 miles to the east of the Isle of Wight. The cause of the incident is thought to be a consequence of refuelling between 2 ships.

“The MCA is monitoring the situation through regular surveillance flights across the area, and through dialogue with the ship’s owners who have contracted a commercial company to address any consequences from the spill.

“To date, no adverse consequences have been identified or reported, and there is no indication that the shoreline has been impacted”.

UPDATE FRIDAY @ 13:00 – Bembridge Coastguard Rescue Team have once again been searching the coastline today, as have Selsey Coastguard Rescue Team on the mainland.

Thankfully, no oil has been spotted on either side of the Solent.

If you find or spot any oil out at sea or along the coast then contact the Coastguard on 999.

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