Well it’s been a hectic few days and sleepless nights, hence no blog! On Friday we met with Senior Management of Sinopec who came over for a meeting and we took them to inspect some of the affected areas. I cannot stress this enough, SINOPEC are going all out to assist in whatever way they can. They are the producers of the pellets but they sell from their factory, the minute it leaves the gates it is someone else’s responsibility, though as it does have their logo on the bags they are obviously very concerned about any negative press. They have show that when they wrote their CSR statements, in this case they actually meant it, and this has blown us all away. They recorded everything down and took batch/serial numbers etc. They then put us in touch with the Shipping Agents and have been working with the Gov’t Depts to assist where they can.
Saturday was spent on the phone and researching more.
Sunday both Tracey and I left early for Shap Long Beach in a remote spot in south Lantau, following up a report from FEHD of a beach with a 2ft wall of pellets. Upon arrival there were many pellets, but the tide must have sadly taken most of it back out so we decided to shoot the video. https://vimeo.com/46594524
Today was another day of interesting developments. After a monster overnight video editing session ending with a sunrise, we again met with Sinopec and discussed the clean up operations before taking the shipping agent around to the sites. We were then supposed to be visiting the salvage shipyard to see the recovered containers so we could check on how many sacks were still there. At first we were declined to visit, but with some gentle pursuading and a few heavily weighted options, Tracey and I were on our way with the Shipping Agents to Tsing Yi.
What we saw when we arrived was in-comprehensible. The force of Mother Nature has no limits. What she did with those containers was devastating.
Our immediate aim (besides getting as many sacks out of the water as possible) is to establish a worst case number. This hasn’t been easy. Firstly no-one can tell me straight answer to how many bags fit in the containers (1,000 sacks in a 40ft). Then when we started there were 3(three) 20ft containers missing. This then changed to 40ft containers. Last night this changed again when someone called us to say that there were 7(seven) missing in total. This was then reviewed to 6 with pellets, 1 other with something else inside(no dangerous)!
So with this information in hand we can say 6,000 sacks entered the water on the night of Monday 23rd July, 2012
From our visit to the salvage yard we have ascertained that 1(one) full container is safe, and the remaining sacks from the other three containers would make up another one full and a 20% full container. This would mean there are 2,200 sacks accounted for at the salvage yard, meaning we are still looking for 3,800 sacks.
The two remaining containers remain missing, but could turn up intact. If they are intact, then we have 1,800 sacks still in the waters of Hong Kong.
We have collected almost 280 sacks in DB alone, and with everyone else we could be up to 400 in total that we have all found.
This means that there could be somewhere between 1,400 and 3,400 sacks till un-accounted for in and around HK!!!!
The pellets themselves are harmless to humans right now, but we have been told that after 3 weeks in HK waters, they should be re- designated as a TOXIC WASTE product.
We have called a meeting of all the Government Departments and us/Sinopec to discuss clean up plan of attack! Will update again tomorrow……..