Rotterdam dirtied by oil

Port of RotterdamWater pollution has occurred in the Third Petroleum port in the Botlek area in the port of Rotterdam, a considerable amount of heavy fuel oil has leaked into the water.

The Port Authority of Rotterdam and the emergency services placed oil screens around the ship in an attempt to prevent further spreading of oil.

Placing the screens was effective, but part of the oil had already spread beyond the incident area. It was observed that was a wide distribution of oil spores on the water, from Hoek van Holland to Spijkenisse bridge and the Benelux tunnel. Experts expect the clean-up work to last weeks, but possibly longer.

Until further notice, the Rotterdam Rijnmond Safety Region has set two priorities:
1) Cleaning up the oil
2) Paying attention to the care of the infected birds.

The Division Harbour Master of the Port Authority is primarily responsible for the coordination of clean-up operations in the ports and the consequences for shipping. RWS is responsible for coordinating the clean-up work on the waterways.

On the advice of the authorities, people are advised to avoid contact with the oil. The Fire Department will help the employees of the Animal Protection with boats and extra protective equipment.

For the prospect of cleaning, priority is given to the surface water in the harbour. After that has been done, ships will be cleaned in a special wash, only then they can undertake shipping works again.

The Third Petroleum port, the Wiltonhaven and the marinas of Vlaardingen and Schiedam have been blocked until further notice. All agencies and companies involved in the ports concerned have been informed about the incident and its possible consequences. The Port of Rotterdam Authority has held the owner of the tanker liable.

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