Bulk carrier oil leak affects local economy
Tons of oil have leaked from the vessel's hull, sparking fears of an ecological disaster.
CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism on Thursday said the oil leak from the stranded Kiani Satu bulk carrier near Knysna is a threat to the local economy.
The rice carrier ran aground more than a week ago between Buffels Bay and Sedgefield in the Southern Cape, due to a mechanical fault.
Since then tons of oil have leaked from the vessel's hull, sparking fears of an ecological disaster.
But Economic Development and Tourism MEC Alan Winde said he was relieved mop up operations have largely been effective.
"An oil disaster could be hugely detrimental to this region because tourism is its core income generator. That's why I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that a lot of the oil has been dissipated."
While salvagers managed to turn the ship around this week they still need to tow it back out to sea.
Meanwhile, the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (Sanccob) has urged residents in the area to report any oiled sea birds.
The organisation has rescued seven birds that have been affected by the oil leak from the ship.
Sanccob's Vanessa Strauss said the birds were in a good, strong condition and would be transferred to the rehabilitation centre.
She appealed to the public to help.
"If anyone sees penguins in distress, please contact our regional rehabilitation manager on 082 326 4142."
To find out more about shipwrecks along the Cape coast click here.