A major incident has been declared after a massive  200 barrels of reservoir fluid leaked into the water at Poole Harbour in Dorset on Sunday. The leak occurred at a pipeline operated by Perenco, under Owers Bay, claimed Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC). 

The pipeline has been shut down and booms have been placed on either side of the leak. 

An assessment is currently being carried out.

Members of the public have been urged not to swim at Poole Harbour or the surrounding area until further notice.

The PHC said in a statement: “It is estimated that approximately 200 barrels of reservoir fluid has been released into the water column in Poole Harbour.

“Anyone who has come into contact with the spill should wash immediately with soap and water. If eyes have come into contact with the spill, they should be rinsed with water.”

On Sunday afternoon, the Environment Agency (EA) said it had received reports of a “large amount of oil” in Poole Harbour.

In a statement, the EA said: “We are supporting the port authority and other partners in responding to this incident.”

Dorset Police said PHC informed it at 13:43 BST on Sunday of an oil leak in Poole Harbour.


In a statement, the force said the incident was being led by PHC and there was no requirement for police attendance.

The force further stated: “We will continue to liaise with our partner agencies and offer support if required.”

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