Muscat's Bitumen Spill

 

Out at bandar khayran today with a huge job at hand , over 800 tones of tar (Bitumen) was spilled from a vessel that sank off the coast of Muscat , Oman . Five people and a few hours of long hard work and we managed to contain close to a ton of the waste , One mesh bag at a time, so needless to say this is going to be an on going process. There are clean-ups in action at the moment to try contain this disaster , but sadly just not enough happening to resolve the issue fast enough before damage has been done. Big shout out to Euro Divers Muscat for joining in with this ongoing and vast clean-up. Lets try and spread the word and get this out to as many people in the Muscat area. Will be organizing a beach clean up so will be keeping you posted. 

 

THIS TAKEN FROM A LOCAL NEWSPAPER

 

 

Running through the black water lapping at the shore, these children seem blissfully unaware of the environmental disaster unfolding around them in their new playground. This black spill hit the shores around Muscat and Muttrah after a stricken cargo ship sank around 1.4 miles off Port Sultan Qaboos. It began taking on water, pouring its 816-ton load of bitumen (a liquid form of petroleum) into the surrounding ocean. The Iranian captain of the Cypriot-registered commercial vessel Nisar R3 drowned, going down with his ship, but two local rescue ships saved the Indian crew of nine.

Slicks of oil and the bitumen, also known as asphalt, began to wash up on beaches in the area including the coast near Siffah Village, where Y captured these images, after the incident on Saturday. A sticky, black and highly viscous liquid with tarlike appearance, crude bitumen can be damaging and difficult to clean up.

As the big clear up begins, teams are working to clear the contamination and study the potential environmental effect of the incident. The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is collecting samples of fish and other marine species for analysis. An investigation is being launched into the sinking, and international experts have been called in to salvage the ship.

Direct contact with hot bitumen or asphalt can cause skin problems, and exposure to fumes over a period of time has been linked to lung and stomach cancer.

Once the substance is recovered from the water and beaches, it will need to be safely disposed of or buried.