The South African Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) on Sunday confirmed that an investigation has been launched after up to 400 litres of oil spilled into Port Elizabeth sea while a vessel was refuelling.
“The spillage has been contained to the water and is not expected to reach the beach or islands. A company contracted to assess the effect of the spill has confirmed that there are ‘no oil traces in the water’,” said Samsa spokesperson Tebogo Ramatjie.
Between 200 and 400 litres of oil spilled in the Port of Ngqura 20km north east of Port Elizabeth at around 04:40 on Saturday while bunkering services company, SA Marine Fuels, was refuelling the MV Chrysanthi S.
“The cause of the accident was overflow. SA Marine Fuels immediately activated an oil spillage control exercise to contain the oil spread,” said Ramatjie.
Samsa CEO Sobantu Tilayi said that together with other authorities, they would inspect the beaches and islands off Port Elizabeth on Monday to confirm that the oil will not reach land.
“Samsa will conduct a comprehensive investigation into this unfortunate incident.”
Tilayi said they would assist in whatever way they could.
“We know the impact that an oil spill can have, from the marine wildlife affected to the people who earn their living from the sea and the local economy, and we will do everything in our power not only to ensure that the impact of this spill is contained, but also to ensure that it never happens again.”