14 Sep, 2022 @ 14:15
1 min read

Gibraltar tries to avert pollution as storm threatens to further break up beached ship

649.1 2022
Less patches of oil are visible from this aerial photo of the OS 35 recently

THE Gibraltar Port Authority and salvers are bracing for a weekend storm that could further break up the stranded OS 35 bulk carrier and pollute local shores.

The British territory’s Captain of the Port informed the Chief Minister that he was now looking at ‘exploring all realistic options to minimise pollution that may be caused as an inevitable result of adverse weather’.

Gibraltar police have now formally charged the captain of the OS 35 for his actions that led to the collision of his ship and caused the accident.

Prosecutors charged Abdelabari KADDURA, 53, a Syrian national, with Failing to Take Appropriate Action to Avoid Collision and Damaging a Breeding Site of a Wild Animal of a European Protected Species. These are just two of a list of seven crimes he allegedly committed.

The poor weather comes after barges pumped most fuel oil, lubricant and diesel from the stricken ship 700m off Catalan Bay.

But the Captain of the Port has advised that some further pollution could now occur.

“There are still expected to be pockets of unrecoverable, unpumpable fuel residues onboard the vessel that are and will continue to be an ongoing source of sheening, This was expected and is unpreventable,” said the Gibraltar Government in a statement.

“In the event of adverse weather, it is realistic to expect that these may release.

“There is a likelihood that swells will push some of this fuel towards the shoreline.”

657.2 2022
Oil Spill Removal Limited experts oversaw the removal of oil from Gibraltar shores

It comes as containment booms which have been keeping in any other oil leaks get replaced as they ‘are currently dirty and soiled,’ the government said.

Port authorities will remove them altogether to prevent the booms around the ship and near beaches polluting the seas when they break up in the storm.

Gibraltar agencies plan to work together to limit the effects of the storm as much as possible.

Port and environmental departments will then set about cleaning the areas affected once the storm has passed.


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