OS 35 Update – GPA Works to Mitigate Impact of Fuel Escape

The Gibraltar Port Authority is working to mitigate as far as possible the impact of oil in BGTW, following an escape of previously trapped low sulphur fuel oil from the OS 35.

The oil had, unfortunately, moved away from the vessel before the weather had subsided enough to allow for the redeployment of the boom that had previously surrounded it and was removed over the weekend. An operation to redeploy the boom to surround the OS 35 is now underway.

A statement continued: “The oil that has escaped represents quantities onboard that were unpumpable, as well as residues from the dirty fuel tanks. Unfortunately, its release into BGTW was inevitable and expected.

“The Gibraltar Port Authority, together with its partner agencies including the Department of the Environment and in close cooperation with its counterparts in Spain, has focused all resources on cleanup operations both from land and on the sea.

“Marinas within the Gibraltar harbour have been closed with booms as a precaution. Booms have also been deployed in J-formation to the east side and within the bay.

“The Department of Environment have advised against swimming at Camp Bay and Little Bay. Beach cleanup teams have been mobilised to both locations.

“All fishing activity should be suspended until further notice.”