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OS 35 Update – GPA concentrates all resources on tackling sheening - 676/2022

September 20, 2022

The Salvor’s operation, approved by the Gibraltar Port Authority, to lower the aft of vessel went as planned. As of Saturday morning, the OS 35 is secure on the sandy sea bed, putting it in the best position to withstand adverse weather conditions and for recovery operations going forward.

The boom around the vessel was removed as planned. The current swell action around the vessel means that replacing the boom is not possible at present. Its redeployment is under constant review so that it may be replaced at the earliest safe opportunity.

The GPA monitored the situation around the OS 35 continuously over the long weekend. As had been expected, some light sheening from residual fuel was experienced on Sunday and Monday, as well as the release of very minor debris. Most of the sheening was broken up by the weather, and to further minimise any impact the GPA deployed assets and will ramp up the response as the swell subsides.

Although it remains light, sheening is more extensive this morning. The GPA has deployed additional vessels to begin tackling this and has stopped all Port operations that involve launches in order to concentrate all available resources on clean-up operations.

At the request of the Captain of the Port of Gibraltar, the Deputy Captain of the Port of Algeciras has deployed assets to the area of Europa Point, to tackle any sheen that is moving towards the bay.

At present, there is no free-floating thick oil seeping from the vessel or in its immediate area.

Currently, no beaches are impacted by oiling. The Department of the Environment, together with OSRL, continue to conduct daily shoreline assessments with a view to mobilising clean-up operations as soon as may be necessary.