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Clean-up operation at mile-long oil spill on Gorleston completed

PUBLISHED: 09:56 05 January 2016 | UPDATED: 03:24 06 January 2016

Cleaning up part of the beach at Gorleston after oil was found following a storm tide.

Picture: James Bass

Cleaning up part of the beach at Gorleston after oil was found following a storm tide. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2016

Clean-up work has been completed today at Gorleston beach where oil from a shipwreck almost 40 years ago had been exposed by recent storms.

The material washed up along the East Anglian coast in 1978 after a tanker was badly damaged in a collision off Winterton.

Much of it was buried in trenches dug along beaches, in accordance with clean-up procedures in place at the time.

However, recent storms and coastal erosion mean that some of the oil has been exposed on the sands between Hopton and Gorleston.

A spokesman from Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: “The mechanical cleaning of the beach has been completed today by GYB Services Ltd, the borough council’s operational partner.

“The work took the whole day. The level of the beach is now building up quickly again as expected and the borough council will continue to monitor the situation.”

The work was done via a tractor which was pulling a bit of machinery behind it to remove the oil deposits.

It followed the work carried out on Monday, when a scavenger team was sent out to handpick the larger oil deposits.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council had become aware that three trenches had been exposed due to a severe winter storm over the weekend which resulted in a drop in beach level of about 150cm.

Due to south/south-easterly winds, a thin layer of fine oil residue from these trenches had been deposited along the shoreline at Gorleston beach.


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