British Divers Marine Life Rescue
British Divers Marine Life Rescue (photo: Steve Marsh)
British Divers Marine Rescue


2008-10-03 15:09:10

Oil spill at Dunnet, Caithness

Oiled bird: victim of the spillWe were contacted by RSPB asking for some help with a survey of beaches in the area and help with local knowledge regarding access after oiled birds were reported on the coastline. Sue White kindly sent out a text message to Caithness medics asking for volunteers and a number of medics responded.

We all met at the Caithness Rangers service centre at Dunnet where we were met by SEPA and Highland Council TEC services, to discuss a plan of action. The beaches in the areas were allocated to medics and rangers alike so that the coast between Duncansby and Scrabster was covered. Split into teams of two we went to our beaches looking for oiled birds and evidence of oil on the beach.

After 2 hours all beaches had been covered. Between us we had spotted in excess of 70 birds with oil on their plumage, found one dead bird and 2 guillemots that were taken to Thurso for veterinmary treatment.

A big thank you to the 8 Caithness medics who turned out on a wet and windy day to help. To Jamie and Heather from the Highland Seal Hospital and Jim, Jane, Karl, Karen and Kelly the medics.

Richard Bradley
Marine Mammal Medic