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An update on the ship wreck crisis by the JOC Goukamma Nature Reserve
Date: 14th August 2013
Joint Operation Centre (JOC), Goukamma Nature Reserve - While efforts are ongoing to tug the cargo ship out to sea, the Joint Operations Centre at Buffalo Bay/Goukamma continues to protect the estuaries and prepare for major clean-up operations, once the ship has been removed.
The bulk rice cargo ship, Kianu Satu, reported mechanical problems in the early hours of 8 August 2013 (last Thursday) and ran to ground inside the marine protected area of the CapeNature-protected Goukamma Nature Reserve.
JOC Incident coordinator Gerhard Otto said more than 350 people from some 20 organisations and stakeholders were working together to address the many issues caused by the oil spill. “At the moment, the Goukamma Nature Reserve and Marine Protected Area is the most affected by oil. There is no current threat to the Knysna and Swartvlei Estuaries, but precautionary measures are in place.
“At Swartvlei attempts are being made to close the river mouth manually using sandbags and sand moving equipment.
“While there is no current threat to the Knysna Estuary, oil collecting booms are in place and can be pulled across targeted sections of the estuary should it become necessary.
“At Goukamma a clean-up base camp is being set up and full scale clean-ups will get underway as soon as the vessel has been moved to around 10 nautical miles from the coast. The Goukamma River is also being closed manually. Earlier attempts to stop contamination with a boom in the river were unsuccessful and some contamination occurred upstream, but is now contained,” said Mr. Otto.
A sea bird and animal rescue team is in place. So far, 13 oiled birds have been rescued.
Western Cape Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning Anton Bredell says: “It is encouraging to see how national and provincial government , local and district municipalities, conservation partners, NGOs and private business work together effectively in a time of crisis to protect and save our natural resources. This is truly an example of how we work better together for our environment.”
Roleplayers include the South Africa Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), national Department Environmental Affairs (DEA) Oceans and Coast, CapeNature, SANParks, Eden District Municipality, Knysna Municipality, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Knysna and Wilderness, SARS Customs, SAPS Sea Border Unit, NMMU (research unit), Western Cape Provincial Traffic Department, SANCCOB (bird protection agency) and several specialised service providers.
Ms Athane Scholtz
JOC – Goukamma (Knysna Municipality)
Cell phone: +27 (0)83 441 0331
Ms Marietjie Engelbrecht
JOC – Goukamma (CapeNature)
Cell phone: +27 (0)82 814 3559