A three-kilometre-long and 80-metre-wide oil slick in the North Sea could impact the coastlines of the Wadden Islands later this week.
Translation and photo by Traci White
The Public Works and Water Management department (Rijkswaterstaat) began working to clean up the slick on Wednesday, according to the Leeuwarder Courant. Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management Cora van Nieuwenhuizen says that the slick is relatively small, but she is keeping the Dutch parliament informed of developments.
The Dutch Coast Guard is monitoring the slick from the air. As of Wednesday night, the oil was around 10 nautical miles west of the island of Texel. The current direction of the wind and currents could bring the oil on shore on the Wadden islands within 24 hours.
It remains unclear where the oil came from. An incident control vessel has been dispatched to the scene and efforts have been ongoing since 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday to clean up the oil in order to prevent it from reaching the islands.
Since January, the Wadden Island region has been coping with the aftermath of hundreds of shipping containers falling overboard from the MSC Zoe. The contents of the containers have been washing ashore, included plastic pellets and caustic materials, and a salvage effort is ongoing to lift containers from the ocean floor.