2 Sep, 2022 @ 15:00
1 min read

Fuel oil from stricken cargo ship reaches western Gibraltar coastline threatening water supply

Boom Launch
A tug lays out a boom to try to shield the western coast of Gibraltar from pollution

FUEL oil that leaked from the beached bulk carrier off Catalan Bay is blackening western facing bathing spots in Gibraltar.

Tugs have been laying out absorbent booms to try to stop the flow of oil from polluting saltwater supply to the recently re-established freshwater plants.

The fuel oil is now spreading along the coastline of Little Bay and Rosia Bay, fanned by southwesterly winds.

The Gibraltar Government is ‘confident’ it will be able to stop the fuel oil from being transported with the saltwater to the Reverse Osmosis plants at Governor’s Cottage.

“Generally, surface oil is not a problem for the water intakes as they are sufficiently below the surface,” said the government in a statement.

Authorities are trying to clean up the ‘sheen’ too, created on the surface of the sea by a thin film of oil.

Back at the stricken OS 35 on the east side of the Rock, barges had removed 80% of the diesel from the tanks at 7am on Friday morning after pumping continued all night.

The port remains closed while the crisis is tackled.

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