Beach scare after ship leaks oil into ocean
Granadilla had to instigate its emergency plan after an oil spillage affected the popular beach of La Tejita in El Médano.
The beach was due to have reopened on January 20th following confirmation that the water was clear from the public health department of the Canary Islands Government.
A spokesman for Granadilla council said: “It was on Thursday, January 18th, between 1.30pm and 2pm when a ship proceeded to unload fuel for Tenerife Sur airport in La Tejita; and after 2pm, when a municipal rescue boat detected a stain in the sea of what was believed to be fuel, so the municipal emergency technician and CECOES were informed.”
The Municipal Emergency Plan (PEMU) and the Contingency Plan for Marine Pollution by the Government of the Canary Islands (PECMAR) and the National Contingency Plan for Maritime Pollution were all implemented. Ships and helicopters with Maritime Rescue were also sent out to determine the extent of the slick.
The first inspection, said the council, showed the slick was about 60 metres long and had already reached the bathing area.
Various measures were then taken to disperse the product. Divers also confirmed the leakage had come from a leak in a hose of the ship whilst it was moored. Repairs were carried out until it was verified there was no further leakage. Most of the slick had dispersed by nightfall.
“On Friday, January 19th in the morning, with the PEMU activated, several inspections were carried out and it was confirmed that there was no fuel stain,” said the council spokesman. “Throughout January 19th, the rescue boat, biologists and technicians of the Ministry again confirm that there is no contaminated water and that it is clean.”
Confirming it was kerosene, a spokesman for the 112 emergency service said: “CEPSA divers located and sealed a leak in one of the valves of the refuelling points of the ships that supply fuel to the Tenerife South Airport, which was pouring kerosene into the sea in the coasts of the municipality of Granadilla.”
The leak was fixed but surveillance continued for some time afterwards.