Every fisho has an unbelievable story about the one that got away. But did you hear the one about the diesel slick that got away? Strange but apparently true, when the Lady Cheryl ran aground at 1am on March 21, it wasn’t until April 5 that the incident response team reported that her 2 fuel tanks had apparently been holed on impact and the 30,000 litres of diesel was gone.
Meanwhile, an unsuspecting Rye resident had seen a 1km slick off Rye back beach on March 22. But he didn’t report it as it was so big he assumed the authorities must have already known about it. Port Phillip Bay’s equally unsuspecting and highly endangered Burrunan dolphins were enjoying life just a kilometre away from the disaster. They got lucky. Within minutes of the Lady Cheryl running aground the tide turned to take the slick out of the Bay, and apparently well away from the scene by the time the sun came up.
Some people can’t believe that a major slick wouldn’t have been spotted by the response team. Others can’t believe that they’d pretend there was no slick if they had seen it. Whatever the case, it just goes to show you can’t take anything for granted and any sightings of pollution should be reported to the Victorian EPA pollution hotline on 1300 372 842. It’ll take less than 20 seconds to put that number in your phone now.