Earlier today a leak occurred at a pipeline operated by Perenco at Owers Bay in Poole Harbour. Perenco advise that a small amount of reservoir fluid (approximately 85% water and 15% oil) escaped from the pipeline, however some of this has already been recovered. The pipeline was shut down and booms were placed on either side of the leak in order to minimise any pollution and Perenco advise that there is no risk of any further leakage. Early indications are that the surface slick is already dispersing.
PHC activated its emergency oil spill plan earlier today and specialist oil spill response companies are assisting with the operation. A Major Incident was declared and agencies including Dorset Police, Dorset Council, Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council, NHS, Environment Agency and Natural England are also involved.
A further assessment will be made early tomorrow morning regarding a clean up operation. As a precaution, the public should avoid using the water for recreational purposes and avoid using beaches within Poole Harbour until further intelligence is available.
It is unlikely that there will be any long term health effects from short exposures (e.g. days). Anyone who has come into contact with the spill should wash immediately with soap and water for ten minutes. If eyes have come into contact with the spill, they should be rinsed with water. Anyone who has been exposed to fuel oil and is feeling unwell please contact NHS 111 or seek medical attention from your GP.