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PRESS RELEASE - OS 35 Update – Specialised assets en route to Gibraltar

14 Dec 2022

PRESS RELEASE - OS 35 Update – Specialised assets en route to Gibraltar Image

The Captain of the Port has provided an update on the operation for the removal of the wreck of the OS 35 and its contents.

Specialised assets required for the removal of the wreck are now enroute to Gibraltar. The Anchor handling tug Koole 42 and barge H283 departed from Suriname South America this morning with destination Gibraltar after taking bunkers, stores and a crew change prior to the Atlantic crossing. They are expected to arrive in Gibraltar at the beginning of January, weather permitting. Similarly, the tug Koole 31 and Barge H10030 are currently being prepared in Amsterdam for its departure to Gibraltar, and weather permitting will arrive before the New Year.

Simultaneously, works to remove the contents of the accommodation sections of the OS 35 are
almost complete, with only the wheelhouse section of the Bridge remaining to be stripped in the next few days when weather conditions allow. Decks A, B and C have been completely cleared of all soft furnishings, soft walls and insulation and stripped down to their steel bulkheads.

Divers undertaking vacuuming operations have successfully removed a further 3,000 litres of oil residues from inside the hull of the vessel. This intervention has been successful in mitigating any large releases to the sea. Divers will continue to remove as many oil pockets as possible from within the structure of the wreck when weather conditions make it safe to do so.

Works to maintain and clean the boom that surrounds the OS 35 are continuous.

The Captain of the Port, John Ghio, said: ‘I’m very pleased with the progress made by the caretaker salvors to remove the contents of the OS 35 in preparation for the removal of the structure of the vessel. These operations to remove oil pockets caught in the frames, as well as the stripping of the accommodation sections, has successfully prevented the potential release of large amounts of pollutants to the sea. I’m equally pleased that the specialized assets required to begin to remove the vessel are now enroute to Gibraltar, and the Gibraltar Port Authority are currently finalizing the details of the handover of operations to a new contractor in this regard. The plan for the complete removal of the wreck is progressing well and according to the agreed timelines.’

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Thank you!