The following is a press release CapeNature today regarding the cargo ship that has run aground and is spilling oil at Goukamma....
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The bulk rice cargo ship Kianu Satu reported mechanical problems in the early hours of 8 August (last Thursday) and ran to ground inside the marine protected area of the CapeNature-protected Goukamma Nature Reserve.
While efforts are ongoing to tug the cargo ship out to sea, the Joint Operations Centre (JOC) at Buffalo Bay/Goukamma continues to protect the estuaries and prepare for major clean-up operations, once the ship has been removed.
JOC Incident coordinator Gerhard Otto said more than 350 people from some 20 organisations and stakeholders were working together to address the many issues caused by the oil spill. “At the moment, the Goukamma Nature Reserve and Marine Protected Area is the most affected by oil. There is no current threat to the Knysna and Swartvlei Estuaries, but precautionary measures are in place.
“At Swartvlei attempts are being made to close the river mouth manually using sandbags and sand moving equipment.
“While there is no current threat to the Knysna Estuary, oil collecting booms are in place and can be pulled across targeted sections of the estuary should it become necessary.
“At Goukamma a clean-up base camp is being set up and full scale clean-ups will get underway as soon as the vessel has been moved to around 10 nautical miles from the coast. The Goukamma River is also being closed manually. Earlier attempts to stop contamination with a boom in the river were unsuccessful and some contamination occurred upstream, but is now contained,” said Mr. Otto.
A sea bird and animal rescue team is in place. So far, 31 oiled birds (mostly penguins) have been rescued.
Western Cape Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning Anton Bredell says: “It is encouraging to see how national and provincial government , local and district municipalities, conservation partners, NGOs and private business work together effectively in a time of crisis to protect and save our natural resources. This is truly an example of how we work better together for our environment.”
Please note: Please note the information in this press release comprises the information ON LAND. All matters on sea are commented on by SAMSA spokesman Nigel Campbell at 083 309 6053.
Oil affected birds - 082 326 4143 or 072 670 5108 or 083 454 2284
Oil affected seals - 082 665 3770
Incidents can also be reported to 044 805 5071 (JOC Report Centre)
Ms Athane Scholtz
JOC – Goukamma (Knysna Municipality)
Cell phone: +27 (0)83 441 0331