Harbour oil spill contained and cleaned up
A significant quantity of heavy fuel oil was spilled from the general cargo ship Nauma while berthed at North Quay in the Fremantle Inner Harbour early on Saturday morning 12 January.
Fortunately, Fremantle Ports was able to contain the entirety of the spilled oil close in around Berth 11, using a triple row of containment booms of different types.
Most of the oil was removed from the water on the day of the spill using skimmer technology by a response team involving Fremantle Ports staff and Department of Transport personnel.
In the following days, work continued to remove the small remaining amounts of oil and to clean underneath the berth itself.
Containment booms remained in place while the vessel was inspected and works undertaken to repair the damage to the hull sea chest that caused the emission.
The ship was prevented from leaving the Inner Harbour until the cleanup was complete and it was considered safe for the vessel to depart.
The Department of Transport is undertaking an assessment of the impact on the marine environment and ongoing monitoring.
Fremantle Ports, the Department of Transport and other agencies will be involved in a full debrief about the incident.
Regular oil-spill training exercises are conducted by WA Government agencies, with Fremantle Ports personnel involved in a major multi-agency exercise in Albany late last year.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority were also involved in the response.
The cost of the response will be recovered from the vessel’s insurer.
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