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Rescue effort continues after hundreds of birds washed up along Dorset coastline

Last updated:

    *More than 300 birds, dead and alive, have washed up over the past several days.
  • *The Environment Agency says the birds have been contaminated by a 'refined mineral-based oil mixture'. But there is no suggestion yet where it has come from.
  • *The birds started being washed up on Wednesday and the situation has been getting worse.
  • *Members of the public are urged to stay away and leave the experts to deal with injured birds.
  • *The rescue operation will continue at Portland today. Keep logged on to dorsetecho.co.uk for all of the latest updates.
  • *If you have any pictures or videos, email them to newsdesk@dorsetecho.co.uk or call 01305 830999.


rjimmer 9:13pm Sat 2 Feb 13
I walked about a quarter mile of the beach at Langton Herring yesterday but found just one dead guillemot and one dead Razorbill.
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knickerlessparsons 11:12pm Sat 2 Feb 13
If this were happening 30-40 years ago, everyone would be doing their bit and combing the beaches in a joint effort to capture these stricken sea birds. Instead we are told to leave it to the experts who are probably undermanned and cannot possibly cover the entire Dorset coastline by themselves. If the RSPCA, RSPB and Dorset Wildlife Trust co-ordinated a combined initiative along with the safety aspect of the coastguard, many hundreds of local volunteers could get involved with the detection and subsequent rescue of our valuable sea birds. It's a shame that we have now become a "nanny state" with those that would dearly like to help turned away.
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annotator1 10:32am Sun 3 Feb 13
Palm Oil I hear is a probable culprit. From a tanker flushing its tanks out at sea illegally. Another issue caused indirectly by leveling the Rain Forest if it is palm oil.
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PORTLAND ROVER 10:54am Sun 3 Feb 13
Why can't we have a Local station set up to Clean these Birds? I am sure we could set one up on Portland, So many would like to help to clean them, Myself included! Why drive them to Somerset? We can help here!! A
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rodin 11:03am Sun 3 Feb 13
A ship being towed sank off Torbay on 13 January 2013. Its tug was also damaged but later limped into Portland...
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PORTLAND ROVER 11:38am Sun 3 Feb 13
RODIN, The ship that was being towed, had been cleaned of all hydrocarbons and was in a fit state to be sunk as a Reef. This was a unfortunate incident, that, in the end was actually fortunate. This refined Oil could not have come from this vessel. The damaged tug, did not have this oil aboard. It is possible that this substance has come from shipping in the Channel, or even the southwest approaches and Casquette Rocks separation scheme. I have no doubt the culprit will be found, as this substance in its refined state was obviously a cargo residue that was dumped off of a tanker either during tank cleaning, machinery failure, or other human error. This is my own view based upon the information made public so far. A
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knickerlessparsons 1:57pm Mon 4 Feb 13
@PORTLAND ROVER -- I totally agree with you regarding the cleaning up of seabirds. Given that so many have now been washed up and captured along our shores, it would seem a sensible idea to set up a temporary station to deal with the cleaning and stabilisation of the birds in the quickest and most efficient way possible, rather than putting them through any additional stress by driving them an hour away to West Hatch still covered in contaminant. If allowed, the birds will naturally preen and try to clean themselves off, subsequently ingesting the contaminant prior to their arrival at the centre. A temporary more local rescue station would avoid this problem and give the birds a better window of survival. After all, we don't know how much longer this will continue to endanger the marine life around our shores. This may only be the tip of the iceberg.
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