Oil slick report found false

RAS AL KHAIMAH — Joint efforts by the Federal Environment Agency (FEA), RAK Environment Protection and Industrial Development Commission (EPIDC), Saqer Seaport Authority (SSA) and the Coast Guards to detect an oil slick along the emirate’s coast turned out to be an exercise in futility, since the team did not come across any oil leakage.

By Sadiq A. Salam

Published: Wed 22 Jun 2005, 10:06 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:06 PM

The massive dawn-to-noon exercise taken up by a joint team comprising environmentalists and marine life specialists from the four agencies covered an area of 12 square nautical miles along RAK city coast and Saqer Seaport following complaints that an oil spill had been spotted.

“Due to the enormous environmental hazards caused by such accidents, we undertook the operation just an hour after receiving the complaint,” Dr. Omer Ibrahim Yagi, Environmental Consultant at EPIDC, told Khaleej Times. Fortunately, the team found no sign of any oil leak after thorough inspection of the area.

“Yes, such operations cost us a lot of time and effort, but it is essential for us to ascertain whether the reports are true or false,” he said, adding : “We can’t let any rumour go unchecked, and hence we take any complaint seriously and take all necessary measures to verify its credibility.”

“The EPIDC had received a similar false complaint about oil leak in Al Jazeerah Al Hamrah area two weeks ago. As for the environmental hazards caused by oil spills, it depends on the quantity of leaked oil, its thickness, the area covered by the oil slick and its distance from the coastline,” he said, and cited the example of a Greek oil tanker oil leak of 700 tonnes recently following its collission with a boat carrying Panama flag outside the UAE territorial waters.

He also called upon fishermen and the public at large to report to the authorities concerned about any such incident as soon as possible.

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