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PRESS RELEASE - OS 35 UPDATE - 2/9/22

02 Sep 2022

PRESS RELEASE - OS 35 UPDATE - 2/9/22 Image

OS 35 – Evening update

The Captain of the Port provided an update to the Gibraltar Contingency  Council, jointly chaired by the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and the  Governor Vice Admiral Sir David Steel, at 6pm at No 6 Convent Place.  Also in attendance were the Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Garcia, Minister for the Port Vijay Daryanani and Minister for Environment John  Cortes.

EXTRACTION OF FUEL FROM TANK 2
By 7pm this evening, 80 tonnes of low sulphur fuel oil had been pumped out of the port and starboard of tank 2. The remainder, approximately 16 tonnes, is expected to be successfully extracted tonight.
The emptying of tank 2 represents the removal of more than a third of  the low sulphur fuel oil from OS 35.

PREPARATIONS TO EMPTY TANK 1
Preparations will begin in earnest at first light to empty tank 1, which  has a total of capacity of 126 tonnes of low sulphur fuel oil.
As the preparations for the operation to remove the fuel from tank 1 continue, the GPA aims to take advantage of this period to set out new  boom arrangements around the ship in diamond formation in order to  better contain any oil that may seep as a result.
The process of placing this boom is highly complex, involving numerous  assets, and may take 12 hours or more.

CLEANUP OPERATIONS ON THE EASTSIDE
2 J formations continue to work on the eastside to tackle remaining oil  sheen patches that have started to move in a north easterly direction  due to the bi-directional currents in the area.
This is a clear demonstration of the challenges faced in the clean up  operation and the importance of concentrating the GPA’s priorities on the extraction of oil from the vessel.
A deflection boom has already been deployed north of Catalan Bay.

POSITIVE COMMUNICATION WITH SPAIN
The Chief Minister this evening has appreciated positive and supportive  conversations with the President of the Junta de Andalucia, Snr Juan  Manuel Moreno Bonilla, the President of the Cadiz Deputacion and Mayor of San Roque Juan Carlos Ruiz Boix, and the Mayor of La Linea, Juan  Franco regarding Gibraltar’s clean up efforts thus far.

--------------------ENDS--------------------

 

OS 35 – 3:00pm update


The Gibraltar Contingency Council, jointly chaired by the Chief Minister  Fabian Picardo and the Governor Vice Admiral Sir David Steel, met this  afternoon 12:30pm. The Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Garcia, Minister  for the Environment John Cortes and Minister for the Port Vijay Daryanani also attended.

DIESEL NOW REMOVED FROM OS 35
The Captain of the Port has confirmed that the operation to remove  diesel oil from OS 35 has successfully completed.
Around 5 tonnes of diesel remains on board in the engine room tank to  enable the operation of the vessel’s own machinery.

REMOVAL OF LOW SULPHUR FUEL OIL HAS BEGUN
The priority now is the removal of low sulphur fuel oil from tank 2, which has already begun.
All possible options are being actively explored in the plans to remove  low sulphur fuel oil from the remaining tanks. Dedicated diving support  is on scene 24/7.

TACKLING SEEPING FROM THE VESSEL
The skimming operations of oil inside the on-site boom has removed  approximately 12 tonnes of a mixture of oil and water.
The amount of oil that is leaking from the vessel is significantly reduced  from yesterday. This is evident from the visible sheening, rather than  collections of black oil as was seen yesterday, within the boom.
The Gibraltar Port Authority plans to replace the existing boom that is  attached to the OS 35 with a diamond formation boom, which will  provide further resilience. This is expected to be possible tomorrow.

CLEANING UP OPEN WATER SHEEN
Every marine asset available to the GPA that is not tasked with other  duties, for example the J formations, has been fitted with a sorbent boom.
Work is ongoing in earnest to clear up the sheen, particularly on the  western side.
Sorbent boom is very effective but the process is very slow. It works by  absorbing oil through direct contact.

LAND-BASED CLEANUP
6 OSRL staff members are in Gibraltar and have this morning conducted  a coastal survey.
Clean-up teams have been deployed to target areas to begin the clean-up of oil from the shoreline. This will be managed by the Department of  the Environment’s oil spill management team.
The Department of the Environment and the Gibraltar Port Authority are  taking every possible measure both on land and at sea to minimise the  environmental impact of the spill.

PROTECTING LITTLE BAY
The protection of Little Bay, and the AquaGib and MoD intakes inlets  there, are the top priority in shoreline protection efforts.
These intake inlets are normally protected with a precautionary sorbent  boom, which have been effective so far.
This is being bolstered through the deployment of GPA launches with  further sorbent booms to Little Bay and Camp Bay.

MID HARBOUR MARINA CLOSED AND RED FLAGS AT BEACHES
A containment boom has been deployed to Mid Harbour Marina. This will  be closed for the weekend to prevent damage to vessels. No vessels will  be allowed to depart from the Mid Harbour Small Boats Marina.
Red flags are flying at Camp Bay and Little Bay.
The Montagu Bathing Pavilion will also be closed.

EFFECT ON WILDLIFE
The Department of Environment has received reports of small numbers  of oiled birds.
The situation is being closely and constantly monitored and every effort  is being made to minimise the harmful effects to wildlife.

--------------------ENDS--------------------

 

OS 35 – Overnight Update

The situation has remained stable with continuous pumping out of diesel  from the OS 35 vessel overnight. The latest figures show 197 cubic metres of diesel have been removed from the vessel as of 07:00hrs today. This represents around 80% of the vessel’s diesel load now  successfully removed.

Continuous monitoring has been in place throughout the night including  drone and land based thermal imagining.

Port operations at present remain suspended.

HMGoG will continue to inform the public on any updates throughout the  course of the morning and the Gibraltar Contingency Council will  convene at 12:30pm.

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Thank you!