Oil-covered birds found dead on beach between Ramsgate and Dumpton Gap – The Isle Of Thanet News

Signs have been installed on the affected beaches (this sign is at Foreness Bay) Photo Seb Reilly

Warning: distressing image included below

Three oil-covered birds were found dead on the sand between Ramsgate and Dumpton Gap.

Ramsgate resident Mark Hodder found the birds stained with oil as he walked along the Ramsgate coastline earlier today (March 12).

He was shocked to see the bodies of two seagulls and what he believed to be a stork about 10 meters apart.

Mark said: ‘I am a wildlife enthusiast and it was really shocking to find the three birds 10ft apart between Dumpton Gap and Ramsgate Main Sands. They were covered in thick, sticky, black oil.

“I would really like to know where this oil came from and what steps are being taken to clean it up and prevent it from happening again. It was distressing to find birds like this, and it is sad to see wild birds killed in this way.

Mark reported the incident to Councilor Karen Constantine who informed Kent and Thanet councils and the RSPB.

Cllr Constantine said: “Like Mark, I want to know where this oil came from and what can be done to prevent it from happening again.”

She and Mark ask residents to be on the lookout for any wildlife injured or killed by the oil.

On Wednesday March 9, Thanet City Council warned dog owners to keep their pets on a leash on beaches on four islands where oil deposits had washed away.

The beaches affected were Louisa Bay, Dumpton Gap, Stone Bay and Viking Bay.

The following day, alerts were issued for four other beaches – Joss Bay, Kingsgate Bay, Botany Bay and Walpole Bay – but the oil was also found along the Ramsgate coastline,

A statement from Thanet Council read: ‘Affected areas are being cleared and warning signs put up advising beach users not to enter the beach area below the high water mark at these locations until until the warning signs have been removed.

“Dog walkers are advised to keep their pets on a leash in these areas.

“If you spot any oil deposits on beaches other than those listed above, please telephone Thanet District Council on 01843 577 000.”

The source of the oil is not known, although it has been suggested that it may be due to bunkering – transferring fuel oil from ship to ship along the coast. This has not been confirmed.

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