Beaches Re-Open After Castor Oil Spill

The beach at East Wittering and some on Hayling Island have re-opened after a big clean-up operation to clear the castor oil which was washed up there.

It affected the beaches between the Hayling Ferry and Eastoke Corner on Tuesday 11th January.

Stuart Pinkney, safety and emergency officer at Havant Borough Council says;

"The stretch of beach from the Fun Fair going east to Sandy Point is now clean and open.  The final stretch from the Fun Fair going west to the Ferry is still being cleaned.  However, I am confident that we will finish the clean-up operation by close of business today. 

"I have re-visited areas which were cleaned yesterday but due to the windy conditions blowing debris across the beach from other areas it has needed to be cleaned again. The substance is very sticky and messy if you get it on your shoes!"

Havant Borough Council, Police, Hampshire Fire and Rescue, Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the Environment Agency were on site on Tuesday while tests were carried out on the substance which was later identified as castor oil.

It is not yet known where the castor oil has come from; this is currently being investigated by the Maritime Coast Guard Agency. The Environment Agency has sent a sample to it's lab in Exeter for analysis, expected to have results in 10 days.
There are two different types of Oil - Vegetable Oil and Mineral Oil - Castor Oil, Coconut Oil and Palm Oil are all types of vegetable oil and are not a public health risk. 

However it can make animals sick if digested.