Connect with us

Environment

Tar balls wash ashore on several Phuket beaches

Published

 on 

PHOTO: Tar Balls have been found on several beaches in Phuket. (via Flickr Geoff Livingston)

An oil spill that hit the north end of Phuket on Sunday has now stretched the entire length of the island as tar balls have washed up on the southernmost beach in Phuket as well. No source of the oil has been identified yet.

Tar balls first washed up a few days ago on Mai Khao Beach, a stretch of sand at the top of Phuket island. Officials believed it to be an isolated incident at the time. But now more tar has washed up on the southernmost beach in Phuket, Nai Harn Beach.

Kata Beach also saw some tar balls wash up on its shores. So far, other beaches have not had tar or oil reported to have reached the sands.

The Phuket News interviewed several people on the beaches who encountered the tar. In the north, a couple described globs of oil everywhere and didn’t realise it was such a big spill until they saw that the bottoms of their shoes were covered in the black sticky substance.

In the south, a resident told The Phuket News they were playing football on the beach and got the crude tar smeared across their ball. They discovered later the tar had gotten all over his legs and was nearly impossible to wash off. The local returned to Kata Beach in the morning to help clean up.

Tar balls are formed when oil is dumped into the ocean water, perhaps from an oil spill, but often due to fishing boats or other vessels pumping their engine holds in the open water. A thin layer of oil forms on the surface and the lightest elements evaporate over time, while others dissolve into water. The heaviest bits get blown around and eventually break up in the wind and ball up into a hard tar crust and a squishy inside.

A few years back, Phuket had a similar problem with tar balls washing ashore, and launched a campaign to remind fishing boats that it’s against the law to dump oil. The punishment is up to 60,000 baht and 3 years in jail, plus the cost of ocean cleanup and losses to anyone affected by it. Safe dump tanks are provided at sea ports.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Road deaths9 hours ago

Singaporean car driver dead, 7 injured in Phuket crash with bus

Thailand9 hours ago

FDA says Thailand unaffected by contaminated Haagen-Dazs

Crime11 hours ago

Foreign parrotfisher in Krabi says he’s sorry

Chon Buri11 hours ago

17 year old the 18th victim of Mountain B fire, 27 still in hospital

Economy12 hours ago

After poor South Koreans die in flooded basement home, will there be change?

Thailand13 hours ago

10 Unique Superstitions of Thai People

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Weather13 hours ago

Tropical storm ‘Mulan’ makes a splash in the north of Thailand

Patong14 hours ago

Fire breaks out at Patong bar

Politics16 hours ago

Exiled Sri Lanka President warned to stay in his hotel in Bangkok

World16 hours ago

UPDATE: Salman Rushdie on ventilator, details on stabber emerge

Thailand17 hours ago

Campaign to get international training for Thai teen declared record sprinter

Crime18 hours ago

Royal birthdays bring over 100,000 royal prison pardons

Video18 hours ago

The Voice Behind the World’s Top Brands ft. Krit Tone Sukawat | Thaiger Podcast Ep.2

Press Room19 hours ago

Thailand as your next destination for Motorcycle Adventure post-COVID

Crime19 hours ago

Singaporean and Thai swindler couple arrested in Malaysia

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending