Oil spill in Lyttelton Harbour

Monday 8 October 2012, 1:12PM

By Environment Canterbury



Work is underway to clean up an oil spill in Lyttelton harbour which was discovered this morning at the commercial wharfs of the inner harbour.

Regional on-scene commander for Environment Canterbury, Jim Dilley says the vessel Ocean Breeze is leaking fuel from its tank.

“The fuel is leeching out under the waterline and has been doing so overnight.

“There is a strong smell of diesel and a fair amount of oil which we are working to contain. We have a boom in place around the vessel and will then use a skimmer to recover the oil from the water.”

Due to the spill being in the busy commercial area there are only a few seabirds, mainly seagulls calling that part of the harbour home. Mr Dilley says they will be monitored for any adverse effects caused by the spill.

The Ocean Breeze recently had a fire on board when it was situated in dry-dock at Lyttelton. It has since been put back in the water and was floating alongside the wharf preparing to leave when the leak occurred.