11 July 2024

Rayong’s provincial governor is expected to declare Mae Ram Phueng beach a disaster zone today after oil from a recent spill washed ashore, polluting the shoreline for a distance of over two kilometres.

Pollution Control Department head Attapol Charoenchansa said today (Saturday) that the slick breached the offshore boom, adding that the oil already washed ashore is just a fraction, as a larger slick is still heading for the beach.

He said that the oil washed ashore so far had already been dissolved by dispersants, so it can be mopped up using a special paper and disposed of.

Late last night, Governor Charnna Iamsaeng and Attapolinspected Mae Ram Phueng beach in Taphong sub-district, where troops and officials in special suits were collecting oil floating on the sea’s surface using special absorbent fabric.

The governor said that all tourists have been told not to swim in the sea

Rear Admiral Sorawut Chavana, commander of the anti-aircraft and coastal defences of the Royal Thai Navy, said last night that about 200 sailors have been deployed to the beach to help in the clean-up.

He said that they have all been briefed on the safe handling of the oil by staff from the Star Petroleum Refining Company, adding that they all had took antigen tests as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19.

This morning, Walailuck Wittayanukroh, the owner of Bay View Resort, which fronts onto Mae Ram Phueng beach, said that she was shocked to see such a huge amount of oil on the shoreline and in the sea near the beach.

She added that oil slicks are still washing ashore.

The crude oil had leaked from a ruptured offshore pipeline on Tuesday, owned by the Star Petroleum Refining Company. The leak occurred near a single point mooring, where tankers load and offload oil.