NEWS

Vancouver oil spill prompts warning to stay away from beaches

04/17/2015 03:19 EDT | Updated 07/03/2015 02:59 EDT
If you're thinking of hitting the beach this weekend due to the glorious sunny forecast, you may want to head somewhere farther away from Vancouver.

Due to a bunker fuel spill in English Bay just over a week ago, Vancouver Coastal Health continues to warn people to stay away from the shore and water at Sunset, Second, Third, and English Bay beaches.

Similar warnings have been issued at several West Vancouver beaches, including Ambleside, Dundarave and Sandy Cove.

"At the moment we're still telling people not to use the beaches, but there is a plan underway to make sure they're safe to get people back on the beaches," Vancouver Coastal Health medical health officer Mark Lysyshyn told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff.

"There are teams out there doing visual inspections. We've also taken samples of water and beach sediment, so when those come back, we'll know a lot more about the safety."

Earlier this week, Fisheries and Oceans Canada closed Burrard Inlet to all recreational fishing for shellfish and groundfish due to the oil spill. The closure covers the water between Point Grey in Vancouver and Point Atkinson in West Vancouver, and goes as far as the Lions Gate Bridge.

If you have touched contaminated water or sand, or have oil on you, Vancouver Coastal Health suggests washing immediately with soap.

Health effects could range from redness or a rash on the skin to a headache or nausea due to the oil's smell. Other symptoms may also emerge.

To hear the full interview with Mark Lysyshyn, listen to the audio labelled: Stay off the beaches, warns Vancouver Coastal Health

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