Second Wednesday report
Tristan oiling disaster: rehabilitation efforts continue to ramp up: more teams, more penguins
Last Updated on Thursday, 31 March 2011 06:07
[There's something wrong with their clock or my calendar. Bob]
LATEST NEWS OF THE OILING DISASTER AT TRISTAN DA CUNHA
SITREP Wednesday 30 March 17h30, Tristan Time
Today's SITREP has been written by Marina Burns, wife of the Tristan Administrator who is helping with the penguin rehabilitation - as are many of the island's small population. It is clear everyone is working extremely hard.
The weather has been much kinder to us on the island today, which has helped us greatly with our rehabilitation work. We are delighted to report that all 1695 penguins fed well today with some now hand feeding from team members. We now have three fully operational teams of workers with a fourth group of trainees ready to join the teams tomorrow. The three teams worked hard to ensure that all penguins were fed by 14h30 and interior pens cleaned and ready for the arrival of the next batch of 700 penguins due to arrive on the Edinburgh from Nightingale Island later this afternoon.
Along with the 700 oiled and clean penguins from Nightingale will be the majority of the Nightingale team. Team members Matthew and Wayne will remain on Nightingale to continue monitoring the situation there and taking care of the remaining oiled penguins, which will be transported to Tristan as soon as weather permits.
With the exception of 85 particularly oiled penguins, all other penguins have now been moved either to the swimming pool or to an exterior pen. The birds in the pool are preening themselves and looking cleaner and more waterproof every day.
A second exterior pen has now been erected with water dishes, but no pool as yet. This will be for the housing of strong but thin birds, which will be fed twice a day to strengthen them before release. The pen will contain upturned boats which will provide necessary shelter for the penguins. The separate sick bay is now up and running with 90 thin and weak birds being cared for intensively. We can report that only eight deaths were registered today.
Oil has been reported on the west side of the main island of Tristan from Anchorstock Point to Hacklehill Road. A team was mobilized on foot this morning to walk to the Caves and Stony Beach but as yet, we have had no report. In addition, two oiled penguins were found on Runaway Beach this morning.
The Smit Amandla left for Cape Town this morning at 10h00 leaving behind the Spill Auditor Nick Sloane and a team of six divers. The tug Singapore left Cape Town at 18h00 yesterday evening (Tuesday 29th), but due to adverse weather conditions, will probably not arrive until Sunday afternoon. Aboard the Singapore is the SANCCOB team together with Mark Whittington from ITOPF. The tug is carrying essential equipment and materials for the washing and rehabilitation of the penguins.
It has been reported today that the west landing is still covered in oil.
Middle Island is also still badly affected. It is estimated that approximately 8000 penguins are still on the island. It is hoped that as soon as the penguins have been rescued from Inaccessible, the team can assist further there.
The weather is looking good tomorrow to send a sizable team over to Inaccessible to assist in the rescue of as many oiled and unoiled penguins as possible. The team will include Environmental Advisor Estelle van der Merwe, Spill Auditor Nick Sloane, Conservation Officer Trevor Glass, members of the Nightingale team and the divers from the Smit Amandla.