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

News

2007-01-25 13:20:31

Whale rescue team helping oiled birds at MV Napoli

Volunteers from British Divers Marine Life Rescue are continuing to rescue seabirds affected by the oil, which has escaped from the stricken ship MV Napoli. The volunteers are more commonly involved with marine mammal rescue but have offered their assistance in this latest wildlife drama.

The volunteers have been scouring the 18 mile Chesil Beach area on the Dorset coast for the passed four days and will continue to work with the RSPCA to rescue birds and transport them to the RSPCA’ rescue centre at Taunton.

BDMLR Marine Mammal Medics have so far rescued over 500 birds from the 18-mile stretch of shingle. The birds, mostly guillemots, have been found coated in a thick mixture of fuel oil, diesel and lubricating oil which have all leaked from the now infamous ship.

The volunteers have been collecting the birds, transporting them along Chesil Beach to a collection point at the Chesil Beach Visitor Centre. Here the birds are given first aid before being transported to the wildlife hospital.

On Wednesday (24th) BDMLR started using an 'Argo' vehicle to provide better access along the shingle beach. The vehicle is being used to transport the birds from the volunteers to the collection centre at an increased rate. BDMLR has taken advice from English Nature and will ensure its 'all terrain' vehicle does not damage any of the protected plants on the SSSI location.

BDMLR Area\Coordinator, Martyn Dean, said "With the Argo vehicle we should be able to provide a more efficient and faster response for these poor birds. At the moment it is quite strenuous work for our volunteers to patrol the huge length of Chesil Beach and this vehicle will be or great use."

Tony Woodley, BDMLR Director, said, "Our team of volunteers have been doing a tremendous job and have been working well with the local RSPCA officers to provide the best service for these poor birds. We are all hoping for fine weather so that the salvage company can remove the remaining 3000 gallons of fuel oil from the Napoli as, if this were to escape, it would cause an ecological nightmare along this very sensitive and highly protected coastline."