22 Jun, 2023 @ 09:05
1 min read

Port authority could give green light to finally remove Gibraltar’s shipwreck as early as next week

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WRECK removers are waiting for ‘an uninterrupted five-day period of certain weather’ to bring the OS 35 out of the water after refloating the stern of the ship.

Contractors Koole Ltd have been working for the last two weeks to pump out all of the water from the ship salvage crews deliberately sunk last September.

Getting the back part of the broken ship floating again has been one of the toughest tasks of the removal operation.

Salvage crews originally sunk it to prevent it breaking apart further during winter storms.

The Captain of the Port of Gibraltar now hopes to get this five day period of calm weather as soon as possible, even as early as next week.

Easterly winds are predicted to kick up on Friday with gusts reaching a top speed of about 24 knots on Saturday.

Swells of less than a metre should not seriously affect the floating section of the ship.

But from Sunday or Monday, the wind will die down considerably.

This could afford contractors the window they need to carry out the lifting operation with the weather predicted to remain calm until the end of next week.

Semi Submersible Fjord

At that point the semi-submersible Fjord platform ship will slip under the stern of the ship and carry it away from the area.

Then the front or bow of the ship will be mechanically lifted from the seabed onto the same platform.

Port authorities fear this lifting stage could see further oil leaks as the pipes at the bottom of both sections of the shipwreck are unsettled.

The OS 35 hit the anchor of the Adam LNG as it came out of the bay on August 29 and sustained a 10m gash which forced it to beach 700 metres from Catalan Bay.

It has leaked oil for the last few months as it continued to break apart in winter storms.

The bow and stern of the ship finally completely separated underwater at the end of last winter.


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