Navy to stop oil threat from wartime wreck

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The Independent Online

The Royal Navy is to drill into the Royal Oak, the British battleship torpedoed and sunk in Scapa Flow 61 years ago today, to stop oil leaking out. The leaks, which have triped in volume in four years, are a threat to seals, puffins and other wildlife and Orkney islanders are concerned that if the ship breaks up it will cause an environmental disaster.

The Royal Navy is to drill into the Royal Oak, the British battleship torpedoed and sunk in Scapa Flow 61 years ago today, to stop oil leaking out. The leaks, which have triped in volume in four years, are a threat to seals, puffins and other wildlife and Orkney islanders are concerned that if the ship breaks up it will cause an environmental disaster.

A naval delegation met leaders of the Orkney Islands Council in Kirkwall yesterday to detail their plans. Rear Admiral Brian Perowne, a Ministry of Defence chief executive, said the two-stage operation would involve drilling in three months' time to remove leaking oil and in September taking as much of the remaining oil as possible from the ship's 72 fuel tanks.

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