OIL SPILL LATEST: The worst may be over as tonnes of crude oil are cleared away
Experts believe the worst of the oil spill that has hit the Fylde coast this week may be over.
Hundreds of bags weighing almost six tonnes have been filled as specialists worked to clear beaches of the thick, black substance, from as far south as the mirror ball in South Shore, and as far north as Knott End and the River Wyre.
Bispham, Cleveleys, Fleetwood, and Knott End beaches were worst hit, with bathers warned not to enter the sea. The Fleetwood to Knott End ferry service has also been suspended.
The oil is believed to have come from a ship that released the oil - though officials have not said whether they suspect it was deliberate or accidental - 18 miles off the north west coast last Monday.
Lab results determining exactly where the oil came from are expected back from Edinburgh at some point today.
After battling at low tide yesterday to fill 72 25kg bags at Blackpool and Bispham and 165 bags in Wyre, all eyes were on this morning's high tide.
And following inspections along the coastline this morning, the agencies involved in the mass clean-up have reported 'little evidence' of any significant new deposits.
Workers were pictured walking on the sand at Bispham with shovels and litter pickers. Their clear bags appeared to contain more litter than oil.
"The focus is now on removal of any oil smears on the sand and seawall, as well as regular monitoring for any further deposits coming in on the tide," a spokesman for Blackpool Council said earlier.
The news will bring relief to tourism bosses ahead of the summer holidays, with youngsters across the country finishing the school year later this week.