The Mossel Bay Municipality says the closures are only temporary to clean the beaches ahead of the coming holidays.

 Photo: Supplied.

The closure of several beaches along the Garden Route in the Mossel Bay area was announced yesterday after heavy furnace oil particles were detected by beachgoers.

The Mossel Bay Municipality issued a formal notification that flags will not be raised at any of the Blue Flag beaches in Mossel Bay until the beaches are safe for public use.

This follows beachgoers reporting on Monday that an oily substance was sticking to their feet when they walked between Hartenbos and Bayview beaches.

The municipality’s Environmental Management Department activated its coastal management and rehabilitation service provider to investigate and report on the complaint.

Photo: Supplied.

Yesterday additional reports of presence of the oily substance were received at Santos beach, similar to that seen at Hartenbos beach.

Stranded Marine Animals Rescue Team (SMART) reported an oil spill at Kanon beach.

A multi-stakeholder meeting was held at the Joint Operation Centre in Mossel Bay yesterday afternoon.

Head of Disaster Management at the Garden Route District Municipality Gerhard Otto said in a statement afterwards that clean-up teams have already been deployed and are working to isolate the oil spill and clear beaches so they can be reopened in time for the coming holidays.

Otto said a task team has been deployed to establish the source of the pollution and to assist with effective clean-up efforts.

The following beaches will be closed till further noticed for public safety:

  • Hartenbos
  • Diaz
  • Santos
  • Kanon
  • Danabaai
  • Klein Brak

Glentana beach remains clear at this stage and plans to raise a blue flag tomorrow.

The public is urged to refrain from walking or swimming on the beaches listed above until they are declared safe.

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