Ship dumps oil off coast of India

Wave after wave of tar balls floated ashore on India’s renowned Goa beaches today after a ship dumped tons of waste oil off the country’s western coast.

Semi-solid lumps of oil formed layers up to six inches deep on the beaches, which are popular with British tourists.

Scores of workers used brooms to collect and clear the oily debris, but still more tar balls were washing ashore about three days after officials believe a ship dumped the burnt oil at sea.

Indian navy and coastguard vessels were trying to trace the ship, said Aleixo Sequeira, the state’s environment minister. He declined to say what action would be taken when the vessel was found.

Ships regularly clean their fuel tanks and discharge the waste oil at sea, but this case involved careless dumping that exceeded all proportions, say scientists at India’s National Institute of Oceanography, based in Goa.

“Crude oil mixes with water to form an emulsion that looks like chocolate pudding. Winds and waves continue to stretch and tear the oil patches into smaller pieces, or tar balls,” said SR Shetye, who heads the institute.

Popular beaches such as Colva, Candolim and Calangute were badly hit. The beaches are not closed, but few visitors are there since tourism season begins in October.

Goa’s tourism industry is worried that news of the pollution could put off visitors to one of the most sought after and cheap beach destinations in India. Nearly 2.5 million tourists visit annually, including half a million foreigners, mostly from the UK, Israel and Russia.

“This should not have happened. It will not be good for tourism in Goa,” said Gaurish Dhond, president of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa.

The tourist season in Goa lasts until March.

More in this Section

Corbyn declares war on rich and powerful with ‘manifesto of hope’Corbyn declares war on rich and powerful with ‘manifesto of hope’

Ukraine probes pursued at direction of Donald Trump, impeachment inquiry toldUkraine probes pursued at direction of Donald Trump, impeachment inquiry told

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu charged with fraud and briberyIsraeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu charged with fraud and bribery

Greenpeace activists spell out climate message on Angela Merkel’s officeGreenpeace activists spell out climate message on Angela Merkel’s office


Lifestyle

This truck serves as an excellent metaphor for what needs to happen in our education system. A colossal truck needs to barge in front of it.Secret Diary of an Irish Teacher: Time to ditch private schools

Sorting out Cork people for ages...Ask Audrey: Is it still ok to just lob the gob after 10 pints?

Nip those winter ailments in the bud with the help of garden bounty. Fiann Ó Nualláin shows you how.Have a berry merry Christmas with the help of garden bounty

Dig a planting hole around three times the size of its pot and around the same depth, loosening the soil around the hole.Your quick guide to planting trees

More From The Irish Examiner