Thursday, September 29

Gibraltar suspends fishing activity and bathing after detecting a spill from the stranded ship

The Government of Gibraltar has indicated that the Gibraltar Port Authority (GPA) has continuously monitored the situation of the OS35 during these last days and has reported that on Tuesday morning a “slightly more extensive contamination stain” has been detected than in the last few days and the GPA has sent more boats to concentrate all available resources on clean-up operations.

Successfully sunk the stern of the damaged bulk carrier in the Strait of Gibraltar

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As explained in a statement, as expected with the strong easterly wind, on Sunday and Monday there were light stains of residual fuel and small remains of the ship came off. Moreover, he has assured that “unfortunately her discharge was inevitable and expected.” In this sense, he has ensured that most of the slick has been dissolved due to the effect of weather conditions and, to further minimize its impact, the GPA has made use of its resources and will reinforce actions when the waves decrease.

In addition, it has indicated that at the request of the captain of the Port of Gibraltar, the Algeciras Maritime Authority has sent means to the Europa Point area to clean up any stain that moves towards the Bay and has ensured that there is no spill of thick oil coming out of the vessel or the surrounding area.

For its part, Verdemar-Ecologistas en Acción has asked if the devices have quantified the amount that can leave the ship and if, with the action of the tide, it will go to the Alborán area or to the interior of the Bay of Algeciras.

It should be remembered that this Monday the captain of the Port of Gibraltar, John Ghio, assured that “there is no fuel left on board the ship OS 35 and, of course, no fuel for the operation of any machinery on the ship”. Hours later they explained that the oil that has escaped represents quantities on board that were not pumpable, as well as residues from dirty fuel tanks.

Now, Gibraltar has suspended fishing in the area and has recommended not bathing. The marinas in the port of Gibraltar have been closed with barriers as a precautionary measure. J-shaped barriers have also been deployed on the east side and within the bay. The Department of the Environment has advised against bathing at Camp Bay and Little Bay and beach clean-up teams have been mobilized at both locations.

Closure of beaches in La Línea

However, the Ministry of Health and Consumption has issued this Tuesday the resolution declaring the prohibition of bathing on the Levante El Carmen beach in the Cadiz municipality of La Línea de La Concepción due to the spill caused by the nearby OS35 accident ship to Gibraltar.

The Health Protection Unit of the Campo de Gibraltar Sanitary Management Area declares in the report the observation in about 200 meters of “remains of the spill in the water and ‘chapote cookies’ in the sand”, according to the Board it’s a statement.

It shows that there are remains of the spill, intermittently, along the 2.5 kilometers from the border with the Rock of Gibraltar to about 200 meters before the Virgen del Carmen Church.

These remains contain fuels and lubricating oils that affect both the sand and the quality of the bathing water. In this regard, they specify that these remains pose a risk to the health of bathers.

second closure

Given this, the City Council has been urged to signal the prohibition of bathing in the vicinity of the affected bathing water area and to maintain the signage until the risk disappears. In addition, it must provide bathing water users with information on the causes that have caused the current situation.

This is the second closure so far this month related to the spill. On September 2, the Ministry declared a ban on bathing on the Poniente beach in La Línea de la Concepción. The affected area was about 150 meters, for which a cleaning device was started that lasted two days. On September 4, the Poniente beach was opened again for bathing.

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