Oil probe carries on

ENQUIRIES are today still continuing into last weekend's oil spill in Ipswich docks which left dozens of swans affected.Managers at Ipswich Port are still deciding whether there is enough evidence to prosecute a vessel which was docked at the port at the time of the oil spill.

ENQUIRIES are today still continuing into last weekend's oil spill in Ipswich docks which left dozens of swans affected.

Managers at Ipswich Port are still deciding whether there is enough evidence to prosecute a vessel which was docked at the port at the time of the oil spill.

The vessel which was suspected of leaking the heavy diesel oil into the River Orwell cannot be named because of legal concerns.

But it was only allowed to leave the Suffolk port after its insurance company paid an indemnity – left a guaranteed sum on deposit which will be paid in the event of the vessel or its master being fined.


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Any prosecution would be undertaken by the Ipswich Port authorities because the offender would be a vessel and its master.

They would be assisted by the Environment Agency and the Marine and Coastguard Agency.

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Ipswich port manager Robert Smith said the vessel was not registered in Britain.

"But then very few of the vessels that come here are registered in this country," he said.

"There was no work on the vessel immediately after the incident, but it was worked at the start of the week and then left to continue its business.

"I don't know how long it will take to decide whether we are going to prosecute anyone as a result of this – these things do take time," said Mr Smith.

Do you think vessels believed to be responsible for polluting rivers should be prosecuted? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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