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Work ongoing to contain oil spillage in canal after old fishing boat sinks

Published: 31 October 2022

Work ongoing to contain oil spillage in canal after old fishing boat sinks Exeter Ship Canal

Work to contain an oil and diesel spillage in the Exeter Ship Canal is ongoing after an old fishing boat started breaking up and sinking.

Staff from our Canal team were quickly on the scene beside Gabriel’s Wharf within ten minutes of being notified after a member of public spotted the vessel sinking on Sunday morning. Nobody was onboard the 28-ton wooden boat at the time.

Staff quickly closed the King’s Arm gates to prevent any oil or diesel getting in the river and then set up a boom around the boat to contain any pollutants.

Harbour Master Grahame Forshaw said the team swiftly brought in a specialist contractor to help deal with the situation and the Environment Agency were also notified.

“A number of booms have been set up across the canal to contain the oil and diesel and then the boat will be lifted out of the water,” he added.

Oil has also entered the canal basin and the team and contractors will be mopping it up, along with any other spillages, using absorbent pads.

A section of the canal north of Gabriel’s Wharf has been closed off to boats and water users.

Grahame said the Council was now attempting to get hold of the owner of the vessel to recover costs incurred by the incident.

The boat has been in the canal for around 15 years.

The Council will be monitoring the situation over the coming days.

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