Oil Spill in Tamil Nadu threatens marine life including turtles

Thick oil from the sea doesn’t easily flow out of a plastic cup at Bharatiyar Nagar

A coast guard official said response crews were continuing to have difficulty in pumping the spilled oil, and were planning on utilising a biodegradable oil dispersant today. The oil is being removed manually using buckets and passed from hand to hand. As a thin layer of oil started spreading across the shorelines in the next two days, contradicting theories began emerging on what had led to the oil spill. "It will be followed by a foam wash of the area", said the official.

The owners of MT Dawn Kanchipuram, Dharya Shipping, have been directed to hire private agencies for containment and recovery of the remaining oil. Abheek, another Coast Guard ship, had sprayed two tonnes of OSD after the collision. But locals have reported seeing dead turtles from the coast of north Chennai. "Spilled oil is disintegrating gradually due to wave action and weathering".

The Indian Coast Guard's pollution response teams, which are said to have been ill-equipped to respond effectively the pollution, were faced with the break down of two their submersible pumps meant to remove the oil, leaving them with no further equipment on hand to deal with the spill. It has impacted only the shoreline and has not spread inward, reported volunteers of Students Sea Turtle Conservation Network (SSTCN) after a survey by boat of the stretch from Marina to Ennore to assess dangers to marine life. Tiruvallur district administration has provided the modern technological super sucker pipes to clear the oil from the sea, he added.

Cleaning-up of Marina Beach, which is minimally affected, began today and is likely to be completed by tomorrow.

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