Reports of pollution spill in James Bay

Port Control would like to advise that during the weekend, Saturday 22, and Sunday, 23 October 2022, there were several sightings and reports of a possible pollution spill within James Bay.

Following investigation, Port Control can now confirm that this spill is coming from RFA Darkdale which was sunk during the Second World War by the German submarine U-68. As fate would have it, it was the 81st anniversary of the RFA Darkdale sinking on Saturday, 22 October 2022.

Although the majority of oil on-board was removed from the wreck in 2015, a small amount remains and can be subject to leaking as the vessel continues to deteriorate.

A risk assessment to determine the best course of action to minimise the impact to the marine environment was carried out and given that the spill from RFA Darkdale is minor and ongoing, no containment protocols were deployed on this occasion.

Port Control would like to thank members of the public for reporting their concerns regarding this matter and encourage people to report any potential pollution spills in the future.

Notes to Editor:

A Ministry of Defence (MOD) project to remove oil from the wreck of the RFA Darkdale was completed in August 2015. All oil that could be pumped from the wreck was removed during the project. It was noted that small amounts of residue were left and as the wreck continues to rust away over the coming years, further small leaks of oil are inevitable.

#StHelena #RFADarkdale

25 October 2022

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470