Shetland oil spill dispersing rapidly in storm-lashed seas
Thursday 14 January 1993
An optimistic assessment of the way that the weather has dispersed the Braer's cargo of 84,500 tonnes of light crude was given by Dave Bedborough, of the Department of Transport's Marine Pollution Control Unit, yesterday.
He said: 'The east coast is free of any oil. There are some general light sheens around Sumburgh Head but working down from the north the remaining traces are beginning to break up.'
Although there is still some oil close to the wreck, the amount of spillage visible had dropped by 80 per cent since the previous day, Mr Bedborough said. He estimated that one-third of the cargo had evaporated and the rest had diluted.
Captain George Sutherland, director of marine operations for the Shetland Islands Council, added: 'There is a very substantial reduction in the amount of visible oil around the whole of the west side of the Shetlands.'
But environmental groups challenged this view as complacent. Alison Ross, a spokeswoman for Greenpeace, said: 'It is quite wrong and totally irresponsible to imply that this oil has suddenly disappeared from the environment . . . there is still a huge amount of oil in the environment. The visible measure is not an adequate one.' She said that the dispersal of oil would make it more easily absorbable for small marine life which form the base of the food chain.
Dr Sian Pullen, Marine Conservation Officer of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), said: 'I think we have been remarkably lucky with the short- term effects because the sea and the winds are actually doing a remarkable job of dispersing the oil. But we don't know what the effect of 84,500 tonnes of oil . . . is going to have on the very bottom of the food chain.'
The Duke of Edinburgh, who visited the islands with the Prince of Wales yesterday, and who is WWF's international president, said: 'It looks a lot better but it is very, very difficult to know what is going on out of sight.'
Divers from the Dutch salvage company Smit Tak do not expect to be able to get on board the wreck until tomorrow.
- 1 Malaysian cyclist could face disciplinary action after 'Save Gaza' gloves protest
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 Fifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage from US parenting groups
- 4 McDonald’s removes chicken nuggets from the menu in Hong Kong amid major food scare
- 5 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli targeting policy under scrutiny after shellfire hits a mother and child, a school full of refugees and a doctor’s home
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
McDonald’s removes chicken nuggets from the menu in Hong Kong amid major food scare
Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
Costa Concordia finally towed from Giglio amid environmental concerns that cruise liner is a 'floating bomb'
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...
Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...
£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...