Mysterious spill

Published: Monday 30 November 1998

AN OIL slick in the English Channel is threatening marine life along a 225 km, stretch of the southeastern coast of England. "This is the first major incident of its kind that we have had since the Torrey Canyon Disaster in 1967," claimed Dennis Fenter, warden of Brent Lodge Bird and Wildlife Trust near the coast resort of Bognor Regis, southeast of London. According to British coast guards, no accidents had been reported to account for the slick. They said that a ship could have taken advantage of fog and illegally discharged oil waste from its tanks into the sea.

The highest number of oil-covered birds have been spotted around Bogner Regis. "We normally have 30-40 oiled birds in six months but we have had 60 in 24 hours, mostly razorbills and guillemots," said Fenter.

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