Locals and tourists in Chon Buri noticed an oil spill on Bang Saen Beach yesterday and urged the Marine Department to locate the source of the spill. Residents speculated that the oil was released from an irresponsible cargo ship.
Many travellers, both Thai and foreigners, had to abandon swimming in the Bang Sean Sea yesterday due to the oil spill. Officers from the Mueang Saen Suk Municipality tried removing the oil strain over 2 kilometres along the shoreline. Unfortunately, a large amount of oil remained in the water and on the beach, discouraging people from going into the water. Tourists who did venture into the water returned with the smell of oil and oil stains on their clothing.
A 29 year old Thai visitor, Thotsapon Phonmee, spoke to KhaoSod about the issue.
“I travelled here with my family. After seeing the oil spills, I ordered my children not to swim or play on the beach.”
The leader of the Mueang Saen Suk Municipality’s field team, 59 year old Suwan Chuychoo, said that he believed the oil came from a huge cargo ship, definitely not a local fishing boat. Suwan said…
“Sometimes, the cargo ships dispose of their motor oil by dumping it into the sea. The oil spills then end up on the beach due to the wind. We tried to get rid of the oil stains on the beach as much as we could, but I do not know how long it would take to completely eliminate them and I also do not know the amount of oil that still remained in the sea.”
Suwan and tourists urged the Marine Department and other relevant authorities to track down the ship that released the oil into the sea and hold them accountable for their actions.
This incident is similar to an oil spill in the eastern province of Rayong last year. The oil, at least 20,000 litres, leaked from the underwater pipeline of the petrochemical firm, Start Petroleum Refining Company, and the company found the issue on January 25 of last year.
The oil then covered about 3-5 metres of Mae Ramphueng Beach on January 28. The oil spill was believed to be the cause of the death of a dolphin and a sea turtle, but the authorities denied this was the case.
Residents, fishers, and sellers on Mae Ramphueng Beach requested compensation from the company after the beach was closed, no tourists visited the beach, and fishing businesses could not operate. Locals are still seeking justice and compensation from the company and relevant government departments.
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