Staff from the South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) went to the islands, providing expertise and equipment. Unfortunately, due to the length of time it took to get to the islands, which was delayed even further by bad weather on their arrival, preventing offloading of supplies and personnel, many penguins did not survive.
ON March 16, 2011, the MS Olivia ran aground on Nightingale Island, part of the Tristan da Cunha chain, 1750 from the nearest land. The ship was carrying 1650 tonnes of crude oil and a full shipment of soya beans.
It has long been known that a quick response is needed when wildlife is affected by oil spills. The remote location of the islands prevented rapid response and reduced the success of willdlife cleaning and rehabilitation activities.
Wildlife response was limited by the time needed to get a team of experts and equipment to the islands. Local islanders cared for the birds under very difficult conditions, without access to critical medical and cleaning supplies. Rough weather also limited the islanders' ability to fish, limiting available food for the oil affected birds.