OUDDORP - A large part of the North Sea is now covered with a thick layer of oil. The messages come from Walcheren, Schouwen-Duiveland, Goeree-Overflakkee, Voorne-Putten, Hook of Holland to Wassenaar. Lots of birds covered in oil. Many of them have been killed.

The pollution seems worst at Goeree-Overflakkee. There is Ouddorp over a length of six kilometers a layer of black sludge washed ashore. In some places the strip with oil on the beach five meters wide.

Rijkswaterstaat will start placing warning signs and cleaning up as soon as possible. This work will take at least a few days.


According to the RSPB, there is 'a disaster'. Opposite TVNZ Deputy Director N declared. de Haan that only a small part of the polluted birds can be rescued. Many animals flee their rescuers in the sea.

Simon 't Hart of the "Dutch oil-victim studies' Het Vrije Volk told that during his research, now ten years working, Never before has seen such carnage as now.

The fear is that a part of the birds that survived the disaster, so badly affected, they should still be asleep.

Searching for survivors

Meanwhile vrijwiiligers looking for animals that are still alive. Volunteers Vogelklas Karel Schot in Rotterdam today took sixty birds out of the surf at Oostvoorne, Rockanje and Maasvlakte.

There was much time lost in attempts to rescue oiled birds, who still had the strength to fly. Hikers with dogs played an adverse role. Once the birds on the beach trying to land, they were driven back to the sea by the dogs.

The animals are brought to a plurality of bird sanctuaries, as Woodcock at Hoek van Holland and Vogelklas Karel Schot. various measures in those locations to clean up hundreds of birds.

The victims include guillemots, included, scoters, alken, kittiwakes and common gulls. steeped as the coat of a bird gets oil, drives the bird no longer. Who then drowns.

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Where the oil comes from is unclear. Possibly it is discharged oil. The total amount of stranded oil, the estimates range between 45 en 70 cubic meters of oil. Possibly the oil come into the sea when a passing ship tanks have been washed clean.

Minister Kroes has promised that all ships hazards have to be examined along the Dutch coast, but that is a time-consuming chore.

According Rijkswaterstaat drive no more large amounts of oil at sea. If there are still popping up oil spills at sea, dan recovery vessels are ready to intervene.

Hoe ging het verder?

How many birds did not survive the disaster Borcea a bit unclear. There are certainly tens of thousands. About five thousand birds have it saved.

The oil comes from a Romanian ship; Borca. That ship had hit a wreck off the Belgian coast during a storm. Then it's over Flushing to Ghent dangers. Since a trace of oil was noticed, but no one warned authorities. After a few days the oil spill in the North Sea was blown towards the beach. When Borcea had already left for Norway.

The Norwegian authorities warned Netherlands, but the collaboration ceased. Only after a month was the prosecutor who investigated the case, permission to examine the ship. The oil on board the Borcea appeared to be the same as on the Dutch beach.

The captain of the Borcea made immediately after the collision at 4 January contact the owner. Who gave the order to keep everything quiet.

It comes to a lawsuit. demanded the Dutch State 1,2 miljoen gulden, Bird Protection demanded a quarter of a million. The Dutch claim was rejected. Bird Guards were two tons.

The special feature of the disaster is Borcea, that in Zeeland least four people have noticed the oil track. Some have even the captain of the Borcea it addressed. Yet it took a month before was sure was behind the Romanian ship pollution. None of the people involved has sounded the alarm at the Federal Ministry.

The Romanian captain was sentenced to three months in jail, but he did not show up in the treatment and the decision.

About the search for the Borcea and legal settlement RTV Rijnmond has 08-01-2018 also a comprehensive reconstruction situated.


TVNZ – 09-01-1988 – Discharged oil spill caused by birds along the coast

Het Vrije Volk – 09-01-1988 – Fuel coastal kills hundreds of birds

The Telegraph – 09-01-1988 – Hundreds of sea birds covered in oil

Het Vrije Volk – 11-01-1988 – Sunday to grab a bird

Het Vrije Volk – 18-01-1988 – Recherche technique leads to oil polluter

TVNZ – 30-03-1989 – "That bulk carrier loses a lot of oil’

Het Vrije Volk – 06-04-1989 – Leaking oil Borcea was laid no straw in the way of

Het Vrije Volk – 26-03-1990 – Prison for captain Borcea

Het Vrije Volk – 20-12-1990 – 'Polluter Borcea pay cleaning coast’

Het Parool – 04-03-1995 – Company need not pay for oil spill

Text: Dave Datema

published: 08-01-2018

story number: 105

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