RAMATUELLE, France – Oil has washed up on some of southern France’s usually pristine beaches following a collision between two ships in the Mediterranean Sea earlier in the month.
Pampelonne beach in the glamorous resort of Saint-Tropez has been left scattered with black clumps of fuel after two merchant ships collided north of Corsica on Oct. 7, which led to an oil spill.
“The maritime prefect has committed significant resources to cleaning up most of the product, but some of it could not be recovered and has wound up along the whole coastline of the municipality,” Ramatuelle municipality said on its website.
Some 16 kilometers (19 miles) of coastline have been affected, with oil arriving on the beaches of Escalet, Saint-Tropez, Saint-Maxime and Croix-Valmer since Tuesday, according to the same source.
Authorities were waiting for the weather to improve and for the fuel to stop arriving on the shores in order for a proper cleanup operation to take place.
All beach areas affected by the oil spill were off limits to the public and authorities warned people not to touch or get too close to the leaked product as it posed a health danger.