Agency investigates harbour diesel spill

An investigation has been launched into an incident that saw a huge slick of red diesel spread across Whitehaven Harbour, as clean-up operations continue.

The Environment Agency has still not identified the cause of the spill, which happened sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning, and has appealed for information.

EA officer Michael Ainsworth said: “We’ve checked all the oil storage facilities in the area and are now checking CCTV footage of boat movements in an effort to find the source of the diesel but so far we haven’t been able to trace it.

“We work on the principle that the polluter should pay for the cost of any clean-up and are appealing for any information as to where the diesel has come from.”

A prompt start to the clean-up operation has minimised damage to water eco-systems, the Agency said.

Harbour and Environment Agency workers used inflatable absorbent booms and an oil skimmer to stop the slick from spreading, removing a layer of diesel several inches thick from the water surface.

The Agency is planning to launch a prosecution as soon as the culprit has been identified.

Goska Romanowicz

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