CONTRACTORS have now removed all the cargo of steel bars stored in the shipwrecked bulk carrier off Gibraltar’s coast.

Dutch company Koole brought out 33,632 tonnes of steel from inside the cargo hold of the OS 35 that broke in two pieces during recent storms.

The Captain of the Port John Ghio confirmed this was ‘a significant milestone for the operation’ in a Gibraltar government press release.

Successive storms have pounded the ship’s shattered hull lying 700 metres from Catalan Bay this winter.

It has released oil that then spread to Gibraltar beaches on various occasions.

The last time oil spilled most heavily onto Sandy Bay with tar balls appearing in various areas.

Cleaners have worked hard over the last weeks to clean up beaches and stained rocks.

The next stage is the removal of the hull itself.

“Detailed planning and preparations are now underway for the final removal of the wreck,” the government said.

But despite the delays created by the storm, the wreck removal ‘continues to progress according to schedule’, according to Captain of the Port.

Huge cranes will soon start to pick up the two broken pieces of the hull and take them away on barges.

This process could bring the next risk of a new oil spill.

The deadline for the full removal of the hull is May 30 this year, giving the contractors over a month to complete the task.


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