A spokesman for the Royal Gibraltar Police has confirmed that at 12:40 p.m. “an individual has been arrested in connection with the ongoing serious incident in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters”. Until now, the identity and graduation of the detainee, as well as the charges against him, are unknown. However, everything indicates that it would be the captain or one of the commanding officers of the wrecked ship.
The wrecked ship near Gibraltar spills lubricant after the hull ruptured
At this time, according to police spokesmen, “he is collaborating with detectives from the Royal Gibraltar Police Crime & Protective Services Division, which is in charge of investigating the freighter. beached OS 35”.
On the other hand, the Gibraltar Port Authority has confirmed that it has started to pump diesel from the OS35 towards the sludge barge that has been placed next to it, according to the planned plan for the extraction of the fuel stored on board, in order to avoid the pollution of the waters off La Caleta del Peñón.
“Simultaneously, a skimmer (or filter) that is successfully removing the fuel that has been contained by the barrier”, affirms the Government of the Rock, in a constant informative work on said works that, in this case, are related to the locks necessary to prevent the discharged exceeds the barriers again, as it did this morning.
At noon this Thursday, the Gibraltar Contingency Council was reconvened, co-chaired by the Chief Minister, Fabián Picardo, and the Governor, Vice Admiral Sir David Steel, who is particularly active in this crisis. The meeting was also attended by the Vice Principal Minister, Joseph García, the Minister of the Environment, John Cortés, and the Minister of the Port, Vijay Daryanani, all the political leaders who have specific powers in this event.
“The Port Captain has confirmed that the leak of fuel oil with low sulfur content through the vents of the tanks is fully controlled”, the Government reported with some relief, after the alarm caused by the news.
The government spokesmen of the Rock have been insisting that “the priority is to contain and collect the oil that drifts outside the barrier, as well as to remove the one that has been contained within it.” For this, they have been sent skimmers aboard the semi-sunken ship, the bulk carrier 0S35, to collect the oil spilled inside the barriers. Also, these dryers have been used for vessels that try to prevent the fuel oil slick that exceeded them from collecting the fuel they contain.
“Both the launch of the Gibraltar Port Authority (GPA) and the Luz de Mar, of Spanish Maritime Rescue, They have deployed J-shaped barriers to contain drifting fuel oil. Both vessels work closely together”, insist the authorities of La Roca, who add that “two other GPA vessels with J-shaped barriers are on their way to the scene”.
In recent hours, barriers have been incorporated to provide an additional line of protection to Playa de la Caleta (Catalan Bay) and also to be placed in the Eastside project, an urbanization that is one of the flagship projects of the Gibraltarian Government on land reclaimed from the sea in that area, as well as on the Sandy Bay breakwater: “It is hoped that they can be placed today, since their deployment is complex.”
If these barriers take effect, it would be unlikely that this spill or those that may occur later will reach the neighboring coasts of La Línea and, much less, unless the currents and winds say otherwise, to the Bay of Algeciras itself.
For now, the port of Gibraltar remains closed “to concentrate all its operational capacity on resolving this emergency.”
“However, it has been allowed to carry out, as planned, some operations that do not have an impact on the Port’s resources necessary to manage the emergency, such as the arrival of a cruise ship this Thursday.”