Oil spills

Preventing spills

  • Check the engine for leaks and clean up any fuel or oil in the bilge.
  • Consider installing a bilge water filter.
  • Never mix detergent with oily bilge water before pumping as most detergents are also contaminants.
  • Always keep pieces of sorbent material under your engine and handy to clean up spills.
  • Stop water leaking into your boat to reduce the number of times bilges need to be pumped out.

Fuelling (Bunkering) your vessel

  • Estimate the amount of fuel needed before starting.
  • Plug the scuppers with rags.
  • Whenever possible, refuel using a fuel pump. Only use containers to transfer fuel to your boat when there is no alternative.
  • Ensure your engine room bilge isn’t set to automatic.

Cleaning up spills

Any oil or fuels spills from your vessel should be cleaned up with special sorbent material, which can be bought from boat chandlers and marine suppliers. Small pads soak up large amounts of  oil/fuel and can be reused. Any oil/fuel should be disposed of by a specialist waste management company or at a waste oil reception facility at your marina. 

Oil spill exercise at Marsden Point.

Oil spill exercise at Marsden Point.