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Saturday, 21 July, 2001, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
Oil spill 'impacts heavily' on beaches
Map showing Anglesey, north Wales
An investigation has begun into a spill of what is believed to be vegetable oil off the Anglesey coast in north Wales.

Substantial amounts of what has been described as "white and yellow globules of oil" were found on 12 miles of beaches.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency's scientist and counter pollution and salvage officer are currently liasing with other agencies to minimise the impact of the oil.


Coastguard teams have confirmed that the oil has impacted quite heavily on bathing beaches

David North, Holyhead Coastguards

"Within one bay of the coastline there's between five and five-and-a-half tonnes of this oily substance," said Holyhead Coastguard David North .

"We wouldn't advise going on the beach at the moment because of the amount of this stuff laying about.

The area affected stretches from Carmel Point to Point Lynas on Anglesey.

"Coastguard teams from Moelfre, Penmon and Cemaes, as well as the Moelfre Inshore Lifeboat have been out to investigate the situation and have confirmed that the oil has impacted quite heavily on bathing beaches," Mr North added.

"They have taken samples of the oil and these will be taken for chemical analysis. Local authorities and the Environment Agency have also been informed and are monitoring the situation."

The samples have now been sent to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's laboratory in Edinburgh.

It is not known when the results of tests are expected.

The responsibility for any clear-up operation along the shore would fall to the local authority.

Both Anglesey Council and the Environment Agency are aware of the incident.

The oil is not thought to be crude oil but some sort of lighter oil but it is not yet known exactly what the substance is.

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See also:

16 Jan 99 | UK
Record fine for oil spill
13 Jan 99 | Sci/Tech
Assessing the oil spill impact
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