SunLive – More oil slick found on water in Pilot Bay

Visitors to Mount Maunganui on Tuesday morning are reporting oil floating on the water around Salisbury Wharf.

“The smell is quite strong,” he says to SunLive reader. “It reeks.”

Members of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council Maritime and Compliance teams were back on site this morning in Pilot Bay.

“Unfortunately their mid-morning check revealed new signs of oil and/or diesel at the southern end of Waikorire Pilot Bay,” says Duty Regional On-Scene Commander Matthew Harrex.

“The team is currently on the water looking to understand if this is part of the same event as yesterday or a new one.”

An oil slick at Salisbury Wharf, Mount Maunganui around 10am on Tuesday morning. Photo: Gordon Milburn.

Maritime teams actively responded to a diesel and oil spill in Tauranga Harbor on Monday after council staff received several calls about oil on the water in Tauranga Harbour, north of Sulfur Point and around Waikorire Pilot Bay.

Initial estimates were that there was less than 100L of diesel and the public were asked to stay away from the area, particularly around Pilot Bay where the beach had been cleared by council staff.

Staff were not able to identify the source of the spill on Monday.

“We are investigating several potential sources,” says Matthew.

He says today there appears to be a similar volume of oil and/or diesel to Monday’s event.

“This slick was not visible when the team carried out their first beach assessment at Waikorire/Pilot Bay first thing this morning.”

A maritime team from Bay of Plenty Regional Council conducting a beach foreshore check for oil on Tuesday morning. Photo: Rosalie Liddle Crawford.

Members of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s maritime team were seen checking the foreshore in Pilot Bay around 9am on Tuesday.

“There’s a bit of rubbish,” says one of the team, while checking through the beach sand and debris.

A SunLive reporter at the foreshore around 9am says there didn’t appear to be any oil along the beach at that time.

Matthew also says the earlier assessment showed no evidence of oil and/or diesel on the beach.

“But a minor amount was sighted by the stone jetty on the northern end of Waikorire Pilot Bay,” says Matthew.

A maritime team from Bay of Plenty Regional Council conducting a beach foreshore check for oil on Tuesday morning. Photo: Rosalie Liddle Crawford.

Matthew says the waste from Monday’s clean-up will be disposed of today.

At this point the source of the oil is still unknown.

“We are committed to a thorough investigation,” says Matthew.

“We have collected samples to assist in identifying the source if one is found.”

 
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