RSPCA inspectors have collected several birds caught in an oil spillage on the north Kent coast. The birds were found covered in thick, black sticky fuel oil. They include eight red throated divers, two of which had to be put to sleep to end their suffering, two guillemots and a dunlin which died.
All came from the Ramsgate harbour area except for one of the divers which was picked up in Rye harbour. They are being cared for by the RSPCA Mallydams Wildlife centre in Hastings.
RSPCA wildlife supervisor Richard Thompson said: “Birds like these, that are used to spending all their lives on the water, are difficult for us to manage but we have the expertise and will do our best for them.
The oil we are dealing with is very caustic and the two we have had to put to sleep had ingested a lot of it.
The oil company BP is to invest more than £4 million pounds into research being undertaken at Surrey University. Scientists will look at ways of unlocking heavier oils from their reservoirs. The funding will cover 10 staff at the Guildford campus.
Coryton Refinery was plunged into administration by its Swiss owner Petroplus in February. It has been reported that a tanker reached the plant last week with enough crude oil to keep the site working for 11 days but the plant is unlikely to carry on operating beyond the end of this month.