12 heavily oiled penguins recovered in Algoa Bay after oil spill

16:50 (GMT+2) Tue, 09 Jul 2019

South African National Parks marine rangers have recovered 12 heavily oiled penguins on the St Croix Island in Algoa Bay.

Tuesday morning's recovery comes after four heavily oiled penguins were rescued on Monday following an oil spillage off-shore from the Port of Nquga in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Authorities say up to 400 litres of oil was spilled during a fuelling transfer from one ship to another.

SANParks spokesperson, Fayroush Ludick, said two heavily oiled birds, a Cape gannet and a Cormorant were also recovered on Bird Island.

She said approximately 20 heavily oiled adult penguins were then later spotted covering their nests and eggs which also appeared to be oiled on St Croix Island.

Ludick said the recovered animals have since been sent to the Seabird Rehabilitation Centre SANCCOB at Cape Recife.

She said another team will be deployed on Wednesday and possibly into Friday as more oiled birds are expected to be recovered.

The vessel from which the oil was spilled remains anchored off Algoa Bay and will be brought into Port either Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

The crew will then be questioned by officials from both the SA Maritime Safety Authority and the Department of Environmental Affairs, who have flown down from Pretoria to investigate the incident.