Oil Slick Cleanup at Sirinat National Park
Local authorities and residents have been working tirelessly to remove oil slicks and tar balls from four beaches in Sirinat National Park in Thalang district. The park’s chief, Sorasak Rananan, was alerted about the issue on Friday, and the cleanup process has continued since then.
Affected Beaches and Impact on Wildlife
Nai Yang, Mai Khao, Nai Thon, and Layan beaches, all located on the northwest side of the island, have been affected by the oil slicks. Hotel staff from Angsana Laguna Hotel found a sea turtle hatchling covered in crude oil on Bang Tao Beach. Officials from the Marine and Coastal Resources Research Centre were dispatched to assist the turtle.
Ongoing Efforts and Investigation
Park officials, lifeguards, and residents have been working together to clean the affected beaches. Tourists have been warned against visiting the four beaches. The Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Centre (Thai-MECC) in Phuket has linked oil slicks found around Khok Kloi in Phangnga, north of Phuket, to the same case. The Phuket Marine Office has been instructed to inspect maritime route data to identify who dumped the oil, and a complaint will be filed with Sakhu Police.
Lab Tests to Determine the Type of Oil
Thai-MECC has deployed units to the four beaches to remove the oil slicks and collect samples for lab testing. Results are expected within seven days. Tourists are urged to be cautious as oil slicks have been found on several beaches, stretching many kilometers from tambon Khuekkhak in Takua Pa district of Phangnga to Patong Beach in Phuket. Offenders found guilty of violating the law on boat navigation in Thai waters by polluting the environment and obstructing boat navigation may face up to three years in jail and/or a fine of up to 10,000 baht.