Oil slick pollutes southern beach

Oil slick pollutes southern beach

An oil slick has appeared along a 10-kilometre stretch of beach in Nakhon Si Thammarat, chasing off tourists and triggering fears for the well-being of dolphins and other marine life.

Pithak Boripit, chief of Nakhon Si Thammarat’s Sichon district, on Wednesday led a team of soldiers and police to inspect Bangdee-Saopao beach after a large oil slick was seen floating offshore.

They reported that the slick contained dark globules of oil ranging in size from ping-pong balls to pomelos, and was floating along the beach over a distance of at least 10km. It had driven tourists away from the area.

Authorities had not determined the source of the oil but suspected it might come from offshore oil platforms in the Gulf of Thailand.

Anothai Amornkit, chairman of a marine and coastal resource conservation club on Bangdee-Saopa beach, said a previous oil slick in February this year had killed about 10 dolphins and many other marine animals.

This slick was bigger than the one in February, he said. Over the last three or four months he had offten seen dolphins swimming in the area, and he was worried for their well-being.

He said authorities must urgently look into the problem and clean up the oil.

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