For further information, freephone 0800 689 1983

Weekend Closures of Beaches in Brighton

Thick black oil turned up on the shores of Brighton and Hove due to oil leak. This incident caused a sewage scare among the beach goers. The City Council of these two places have ordered closures of these beaches when they observed a foamy mass of fuel floating on the water.

This incident caused the authorities of Bognor to issue pollution warnings for three more beaches in the area on the same day of sewage scare in Brighton and Hove but had proved to be just a false alarm.

Mike Beau, a resident in Hove noticed a different smell, uncommon in the beach area. He said he smelled a ‘diesel sort of smell’ while walking along the shores of Shoreham Port on Sunday. He saw fuel on the coasts and when they got home, he saw dark to almost black stuff on the bottom of their feet that made their feet stuck to their flip-flops. He said they had a hard time scrubbing it off.

One hundred fifty meters in the east of Hove Lagoon, King Alfred, South of Grand Avenue and about 200 meters of the West Pier and Central Brighton can these 5 beaches be found.

Come Monday, all five of these beaches have opened up to customers.

The old gasworks site near Shoreham Port had been linked to the pollution said the Environment Agency because of the previous appearance of the oil during low tide. The said site had closed down in the 1970s but still causing pollution problem. In fact, according to the Port’s climate change director, Mr.Tony Parker, it has been a problem year in and year out and would need a lot of monetary aid to get rid of the problem. He also added that a thorough investigation proved that it was not a threat to the health of the public. He said they have added si dozen extractor units to get the oil and got 1,600 litres from the ground. Mr. Parker hopes that after five or six years of sucking up the oil would reduce its level that it will not become a problem anymore, but without any guarantee.

Another solution that Mr PArker is seeing is to dig up 30 acres of beach that would cost hundreds of millions of pounds and as drastic as that action is, it would not guarantee a stop to future spills. It will only remove an estimate of 25 to 30 percent of the spills. He said the only practical solution is to extract the oil with excavators.

Councillor Robert Nemeth representing Wish Ward in Hove said there was much progress being done on the beach by the port authorities despite decades of problems caused by the oil spills. Nemeth said to resolve this problem would mean millions of pounds. The only work that can be done practically is to intercept the oil before it reaches the beach.

Environment Agency’s spokesman informed the people that it is aware of the reports and had reached out to the Shoreham Port authorities to work out a solution with them. He was quoted saying, “The pollution occurs intermittently, when weather and tidal conditions combine to allow the contaminants on to the beach.”

A spokeswoman for both Brighton and Hove City Council assured that there was nothing to worry about as the pollution was not a threat to public health thus the reopening of these affected beaches. She informed the public that the pollutant had a smell of fuel which was very strong and had a brown colour and foamy appearance on top. It was seen 75 meters south of Hove Lagoon going east but because of high tide and strong winds the pollution has dispersed.