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Rescuers seek to save Pelagic cormorants covered oil from tanker spill

By Olga Gertcyk
03 December 2015

So far 60 birds saved but they are so thickly covered in oil they cannot fly or swim.

The cormorants are covered with oil after tanker run aground near Nevelsk. Picture: Vyacheslav Kozlov

The cormorants were found sheltering from icy north-west winds after a tanker ran aground off Nevelsk on Sakhalin island. The pictures show the terrible plight of the birds.

Local rescuers have saved 59 birds, but they also found ten that have died. Around 100 more remain alive but unable to fly or swim because their feathers are clogged with oil from the spill last weekend.

All the rescued birds were put in cardboard boxes and loaded on board of an Emegencies Ministry helicopter and taken to regional capital Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. 

Cormorants in oil


Cormorants in oil


Cormorants in oil


Cormorants in oil

At least 10 birds died, more than 100 remain alive but unable to fly or swim. Pictures: Vyacheslav Kozlov, Sakhalin Environment Watch

Sakhalin Energy, a company operating in the oil & gas sector, offered their assistance and  delivered the birds to Prigorodnoye, to be cleaned up before being rehabilitated.

As we reported before, Red Book Steller sea lions are also under threat from the oil spill which occurred when tanker Nadezhda ran aground carrying 800 tons of diesel.

Oleg Kozhemyako, governor of Sakhalin region, has warned of 'an ecological disaster'.

Rescue operation


Rescue operation


Rescue operation


Rescue operation

All the rescued birds were put in cardboard boxes and taken to regional capital Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Pictures: Sakhalin Environment Watch

A clean-up operation has worked in the face of poor weather, but substantial sections of the beach have been decontaminated and oil booms installed. A temporary road is being build to reach the tanker to assist with the clean up. 

Volunteers from local NGOs Boomerang and Sakhalin Environment Watch have been involved. 

Comments (1)

Sad to see, but good that they are being saved
Grant Hibbs, Canda
06/12/2015 22:52
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