An oil slick believed to have been discharged from a tanker has killed hundreds of birds in Britain's Shetland Isles.
CU Map showing Shetland Islands
CU PAN Dead and dying sea-birds on beach
CU Oil-covered dead bird.
SV Oil-covered bird on rocks.
GV Shoreline PAN TO coastguard officer
MV & CU Coastguard officer walks along beach inspecting dead birds (4 shots)
MV & CU Coastguard officer picks up bird and examines feathers
SV Scientist in laboratory.
Initials BB/0340 WLW/BOB/BB/0400
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: An oil slick believed to have been discharged from a tanker has killed hundreds of birds in Britain's Shetland Isles. The 30-mile-long (48 kilometres) slick was today (June 3) reported to be moving away to sea, but not before devastating damage had been done to Britain's largest breeding sanctuary for guillemots and razor-billed gulls.
SYNOPSIS: An oil slick 30 miles long has hit beaches in Britain's Shetland Isles, killing hundreds of sea birds in the country's largest breeding sanctuary for guillemots and razor-billed gulls.
The giant slick was reported on Thursday to be breaking up and moving out to sea...but not before extensive damage had been done. Coastguard men asked local fishermen to keep an eye on the progress of the slick, believed to have been discharged from a passing tanker.
Rescue operations have been mounted in the past to try and save oil-covered birds from dying, but the process of cleaning them with detergents is difficult and only partially successful. Although the problem is an international one, Britain's Newcastle University is the only institute in the world trying to solve it.