The Port of Gibraltar reports that the Captain of the port, John Ghio, has received an updated timeline and revised method statement from the contractors on the preparations and plans for the final removal of the OS 35 wreck.
had established a deadline on May 30 for the removal of the wreck, but the contractor Koole has advised they are slightly behind schedule.n particular, the government of Gibraltar
The total removal of the wreck is now projected for the 16th June. Whilst this short extension to the timeline is unfortunate, it is vital that these processes are completed properly in order to ensure that the wreck is lifted safely and with minimal environmental impact.
The works to remove the OS 35 are progressing well, but the reality of the state of the wreck is dictating the pace of operations. It is vital that every stage is completed in a way that is careful, deliberate, and safe.
…said Captain of the Port, John Ghio, in the most recent update.
Furthemore, recently, as a result of the adverse weather conditions at sea, the OS 35 has shifted slightly from its position and separated further in the area of the hull previously damaged.
According to the port, lifting points have already been fitted to the hull of the forward section, and the lifting tools onboard the barges are ready for use. Extensive preparatory works are currently underway to make all compartments on the forward section airtight.
The aft section will be refloated first by re-establishing buoyancy, in a reverse of the process used to lower it to the sea bed. This will be followed by the forward section, which will be physically lighted from the seabed using the lifting points. Once it is clear from the sea bed, additional chains will be passed under the hull to reinforce stability and provide further control to the lifting process. Each section will be brought alongside the semi-submersible barge before being lifted out of the water.
The Gibraltar Port Authority are working closely with Koole and the Department of Environment to finalise detailed tactical oil spill response plans for the refloating and lifting operations to minimise the impact on the start of the bathing season as far as possible.
As informed, containment booms will be placed around each section of the wreck individually so that any escape of residues can be dealt with as soon as possible. Whilst this can’t guarantee absolute containment, detailed contingency plans are also in place to mitigate the impact on the environment, including the potential deployment of preventive booms at Catalan Bay and Sandy Bay, and of a deflection boom at the East Side Reclamation.