15 Apr, 2023 @ 09:03
1 min read

New storm Sunday threatens further oil spills from stricken bulk carrier shipwreck off Gibraltar coast


THE shipwreck off Gibraltar’s coast is bracing itself for a new storm on Sunday that could further break it up and cause more oil spills.

The Captain of the Port met Friday with the government minister of the port Vijay Daryanani and the salvage contractors Koole to discuss the developing situation.

Weather forecaster Gibmeteo tweeted: “Easterly/Levante winds return on Sunday and will begin to strenghthen.

“Strong winds forecast for early next week and bringing increasing swells, rougher seas.

“Winds increasing to Gale force in the Western Strait.”

To stop it getting damaged, port workers will remove the protective boom around the sunken ship lying just 700m off Gibraltar’s Catalan Bay on Sunday before the wind whips up in the evening.

It will leave the ship vulnerable to new oil spills during the following days.

“Where it is deemed logistically possible and safe to do so, they will initiate the cleanup of any oil residues which may be encountered,” the government said in a statement.

Port workers will team up with the Department of the Environment and Koole to increase their monitoring of the sea and beaches.

This latest storm arrives just a week after the last five-day spell of easterly winds that tore apart the last remaining section holding the OS 35 together.

As a result, the ship moved from its previous position and shed fuel oil.

Environmental crews have now nearly finished up the clean-up of beaches and coastal areas after that storm.

The new spell of bad weather will peak on on Tuesday with winds hitting about 40km/h that will bring waves of up to two metres on Wednesday, forecasts showed.

The OS 35 bulk carrier sustained a 10 metre gash on August 29 after it collided with another ship while leaving the Bay.

It beached near one of the most popular beach on Gibraltar’s coast and has released oil as it continued to break up.


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