Oil spillage clean up ended in Algoa Bay: SAMSA

(SAMSA File Photo)

Pretoria: 06 December 2021

The clean-up of the Algoa Bay ocean and adjacent coastline has been terminated in the absence of evidence of any further spread of the fuel, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) announced at the weekend.

In the statement, SAMSA said: “The clean-up of patches of small tar balls that were washed ashore, following the spill of bunker oil into the water during a vessel bunkering operation on the 17th of November 2021 in Algoa Bay, has come to an end.

“The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), SANPARKS and other stakeholders including the Department of Forestry Fisheries and Environment (DFFE) continue to monitor the remaining stretch beach for any additional oil/tar balls that may wash out. No further sightings of tar balls have been reported. The Incident Command team is in the process of demobilising and scaling down the response,” said SAMSA

The termination of the clean-up exercise which according to SAMSA, saw approximately 400 liters of oil recovered from the water, shall exclude the continuous monitoring of Algoa Bay’s islands by SANParks rangers and others involved for signs of oiled wildlife and birds.

“The Islands in Algoa Bay are being monitored for signs of oiled wildlife and birds by rangers from SANPARKS and SANCCOB as part of the routine operation.

“To date four (4) birds (three Cape Garnets and one African Penguin) were found to be contaminated by oil and have been captured. Two (2) of the captured birds have died – one, of malnutrition and the other of a fractured leg. The remaining ttwo (2) are being cared for by the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB),” said SAMSA.


SAMSA moves to ensure maritime environmental safety around stricken Greek vessel headed for Cape Town

Greek owned bulk carrier, the Antaois, currently on tow off the Atlantic Ocean to Cape Town after suffering fire and water damage in its engine, leading to its crew having to be rescued earlier this week. Once near Cape Town, its bunker oil will transferred offshore to ensure ocean environmental safety and integrity, according to SAMSA

Pretoria: 08 December 2016

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has begun fully mobilizing appropriate and relevant safety measures to secure maritime environmental safety in the wake of a salvage operation this week involving a stricken Greek bulk carrier on the Atlantic Ocean west of Cape Town.

The disabled vessel, a Greece registered bulk carrier known as the Antaios, came to SAMSA’s attention after it reportedly suffered fire and water damage in its engine room while located some 870 nautical miles west of Cape Town late last week, en route from Argentina to the Middle East.

According to SAMSA, the vessels’ crew abandoned ship on Sunday and were rescued to safety by a passing Japanese ore carrier, the ‘NSU Fortune’; that dropped them off in Cape Town on Monday.

On Wednesday, SAMSA reported the Antaois – a 19 years old 27 776 DWT bulk carrier owned by Amalthia Marine Incorporated of Greece, and laden with a cargo of soya flour and corn being shipped from San Lorenzo, Argentina to Yemen – as currently under tow by the salvage tug ‘Smit Amandla’.


SAMSA said the safety measures being rolled out involved retrieving safely and transferring offshore the estimated 170 metric tonnes of bunker fuel in the vessels’ belly. Among other issues, this would entail ensuring the vessel remained at no less than 30 miles off the coast of Cape Town.

SAMSA Executive Head for Centre for Shipping, Captain Nigel Campbell
SAMSA Executive Head of Centre for Shipping, Captain Nigel Campbell

SAMSA Executive Head for the Centre for Shipping, Captain Nigel Campbell said: “The South African Maritime Authority (SAMSA) requires the owner to prioritise the removal of the casualty’s bunkers to neutralise any environmental threat before giving permission for the vessel to proceed closer to the South African coast.

“Until such time as the fuel transfer operation has been completed, vessel surveys undertaken and a comprehensive salvage plan approved, SAMSA has ordered that casualty remain at least 30 miles off.

“The multi‐purpose tug ‘Peridot’ is currently being mobilised from Cape Town, together with specialist personnel and equipment and will rendezvous with the convoy of tug and tow and commence preparations for the transfer of bunker fuel and water, which includes the pumping of the flooded engine room and repair of damage sustained,” said Captain Campbell.

He said SAMSA was working closely with all interested parties including owners and their underwriters to “ensure that safety of life and environmental protection remain the key priorities of this operation.”