Duncan Island (2007)
In early November 2007, the banana freighter Duncan Island lost ten containers in a storm off the Frysian Wadden Islands in the Netherlands, and one of the containers punched a hole the size of a football in the hull of the ship, damaging the bunker tanks. The vessel lost an unknown amount of bunker oil, which was reported drifting in the German Bight, smothering the beaches of several German Wadden islands.
Over 1600 birds were reported oiled at sea, but due to the heavy storms and flooding, only a small scale operation was possible. Sea Alarm assisted with the coordination of the wildlife response organisations by providing conference call facilities. In the end, over 50 birds were captured and taken into care, but the veterinary authorities decided to euthanise all the animals.
This incident came too early for the authorities and wildlife responders as the wildlife response plan for Niedersachsen, the Federal State where the incident took place, was not yet finalised. However, a central coordination system has since successfully been set up and recently, the incident has been evaluated by all stakeholders involved.