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Spilled oil on Southport beach causes concern

Spilled oil which washed up on a beach in Southport is thought to have claimed the lives of at least two seabirds and contaminated over 50 others.

Walkers on Fisherman’s Path found the pollution just before the Christmas break, which was described as a tar-like substance with a distinctive oily sheen.

Swift action was taken to remove the oil from the beach when it was discovered and the local council’s Coast and Countyside Department made attempts to rescue wildlife.

More than 50 birds were recovered from the area and were treated by the RSPCA and Merseyside Police Wildlife Liaison Officers. Investigators contacted the BHP Billiton oil rig, which operates off the Ainsdale coast, but following tests the oil was found not to have come from the rig. Workers on the rig are however analysing other samples to try to determine the nature of the substance.

Haydn Preece, Ainsdale local councillor stated:

“We have been told a small spillage from unidentified source on Ainsdale beach which we need to trace. Any spillage is totally unacceptable.

“It is a cause for concern and very worrying, as this should not be happening and threatens our wildlife.

“What we need to know now is what the source of the spill was so it doesn’t happen again.

“We need to investigate and explore who is culpable.”

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