‘Slick’ dumping mystery

The vessel in question. Picture: Supplied

A navy ship has been caught dumping what appears to be oil or fuel of some kind into False Bay.

On Sunday, May 17, in the late afternoon, a Simon’s Town resident saw a ship leave the harbour and spend the night at sea, returning on Monday May 18, just after 9am.

He said it approached Simon’s Town Harbour, made a U-turn and sailed towards Muizenberg.

“Opposite Harbour Bay shopping mall, it pumped oil or diesel fuel in the bay for about a 300m to 400m slick,” said the resident, who does not want to be named.

He said the vessel returned to the harbour and passed right next to the slick.

The resident supplied photographs which show a substance surrounding the ship. The substance left a slick which widened over time. “This slick is clearly noticeably in the photo,” he said.

The False Bay Echo approached the navy on five separate occasions for comment: Tuesday May 19, Thursday May 21 and Saturday May 23 and again on Friday June 5 and Monday June 8.

Lieutenant Commander Ruwayda Grootboom, spokesperson for the navy, said on Saturday May 23 that comment would be given by the navy on what the substance was by Monday May 25.

However, on that date, the navy said it could not comment as the incident was being investigated. No comment has been received from the navy since.

Mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment, Marian Nieuwoudt, said the City was not aware of a spill. “We also have not seen any oil washing ashore in the area,” she said.

The Echo is keen to hear from anyone with information about this incident.

Email karen.kotze@inl.co.za