Repulse Bay off limits

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 July, 2010, 12:00am

After the oil spill in Tuen Mun last Sunday which forced the closure of Cafeteria New Beach and Golden Beach, there is another oil slick at Repulse Bay on Wednesday this week.

The Marine Department says preliminary investigations show the oil did not originate from land, or that it is connected to an oil spill in Tuen Mun. But they have no clue as to where it came from.

The department was alerted at 9am to a large patch of oil floating off Round Island on Wednesday. The island is about two kilometres south of the beach. The oil was described by the marine officials as a 'rainbow-coloured oil sheen', slowly drifting towards Repulse Bay. It hit the shoreline at around 12.30pm.

'We . . . used a water jet to disperse the oil so the particles will evaporate. It is a common way of handling thinner layers of oil,' said Marine Department spokesman Victor Ma.

'Using water jets is more environmental friendly than using chemicals since the spill was close to the shore.

'We also had to take into consideration the effects of chemicals on the beach-goers.'

It was uncertain what type of oil it was but it was likely to be fuel oil, according to the department which collected samples to determine the properties of the oil.

Repulse Bay has been closed by the Leisure and Culture Services Department.

The department is not sure when it will reopen, said Linda Cheng, senior information officer.