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PRESS RELEASE - OS 35 Update – Clean up and mitigation efforts continue in earnest

22 Sep 2022

PRESS RELEASE - OS 35 Update – Clean up and mitigation efforts continue in earnest Image

OS 35 Update – Clean up and mitigation efforts continue in earnest

The efforts to clean up and mitigate the impact of the escape of residual  oil from the OS 35 have continued in earnest throughout the day.

NEW METHODS TRIALLED AROUND VESSEL
A special collagen material with absorbent fibres has been deployed  inside the boom that surrounds the vessel as a trial to determine how it helps to stem the flow of further escape of oil from the boom. The initial results are positive and a further trial using the same material will be  conducted this afternoon.

Dive teams are currently surveying the vessel in an attempt to identify  the source of the continuing seepage of oil and mitigate it as far as possible.

Current indications are that the oil is currently escaping at a slower rate  than it was yesterday.

PREPARATIONS TO MOBILISE CLEANUP AT SEVEN SISTERS
The Department of the Environment is in the process of constructing  scaffolding for the safe access of workers and equipment to the beach at  the Seven Sisters site, with a view to mobilising a full cleanup effort tomorrow.

The Department of Environment is in close contact with local NGOs in  coordinating the response, and is grateful for their support.

ADVICE AGAINST FISHING
It is strongly advised that all fishing activity should be suspended until  further notice and that the public should refrain from consuming locally  caught seafood at this time.

The Department of Environment are collecting samples of fish and  seawater for testing.

BUNKERING REMAINS SUSPENDED
Bunkering operations remain suspended whilst resources are  concentrated on the response effort.

The Captain will review this stance tomorrow.

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

 

OS 35 – Update on Cleanup Operations (21/09/22)

The Captain of the Port had updated the OS 35 Recovery Coordination  Group, Chaired by the Minister for the Port Vijay Daryanani, on the continued efforts to contain and mitigate the free floating oil emanating  from the OS 35.

This is residual oil that remained on board the vessel after all pumpable  quantities were removed from the tanks.

TACKLING FREE FLOATING OIL
Whilst the boom that surrounds the vessel continues to effectively reduce the amount of free floating oil that is able to escape, it will never be able  to contain it all entirely.

The Captain of the Port continues to enjoy a cooperative and fluid  working relationship with Spanish counterparts, with whom efforts to contain the free-floating oil as far as possible are being closely coordinated.

Vessels deployed by Spanish authorities have deployed at the northern  end of Eastern Beach and at Europa Point in order to prevent as far as it  is possible to do so the movement of oil towards the Spanish eastside coastline and into the bay.

The Gibraltar Port Authority have suspended all bunkering operations in  order to focus all resources on the cleanup effort.

Assets will remain on site through the night with boom deployed in J  formation with sorbent pads, to mitigate the impact of oil that escapes overnight.

The GPA’s stance will be assessed and reviewed in the morning.

SEVEN SISTERS
The Department of the Environment’s priority today has been the  assessment and mobilisation of cleanup operations at Seven Sisters,  which is sadly heavily soiled with oil.

Teams from the Department of the Environment, the GPA and OSRL have been deployed to the area to explore all options to clean the area as  quickly and as effectively as possible.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of the oil, attempts to skim have been  unsuccessful. The EPRU vessel is attempting to disperse the oil away  from the Seven Sisters site through backwash methods.

Seven Sisters will remain the priority for cleanup operations over the  coming days.

SHORELINE ASSESSMENT
The Department of Environment and OSRL continue to assess the  shoreline, with two full assessments conducted Wednesday.

With the exception of the Seven Sisters site, the reports are that there is  little impact of oil on the shoreline.

Eastern Beach has been affected, with cleanup teams deployed today.

Catalan Bay has had limited impact, with some loose tar balls that  cleanup teams were able to collect manually.

There has been very limited impact to Sandy Bay and to Little Bay.

The limited impact to Camp Bay has been cleaned through the course of  the afternoon.

Cleanup teams have been deployed today to Rosia Bay, with the beach  closed off to the public whilst works were ongoing.

Gibraltar Port Authority Logo

Thank you!