After a bulker collision with an LNG carrier on August 30 off Gibraltar, the Gibraltar Contingency Council declared it “major incident,” as the hull of the bulker “OS 35” ruptured and leaks have been spotted in the area.
The declaration focused all the resources on managing the emerging disaster while the neighboring port of Algeciras was also informed and assistance from Salvamento Maritimo was requested.
What is more, further information reports that the bulker has suffered a gash on the starboard side of its hull. In addition, the bow of the vessel settled four feet into the sandy seabed while the stern remained afloat increasing the pressure on the hull.
For this reason, the Gibraltar Government warned that it increased the possibility of further damage to the hull and was preparing for it while salvage teams also surveyed the damage.
Adding to the worries, the Gibraltar Port Authority announced that the vessel was beginning to break apart. As a prevention, the port had two tugboats and other vessels standing by and the decision was made to evacuate OS 35, removing 24 crew members.
The concern regards the 183 tons of heavy fuel oil, 250 tons of diesel, and 27 tons of lube oil aboard the vessel. In fact, a small leak of hydraulic fluid from the vessel’s forward crane developed.
The Gibraltar Port Authority put a containment boom around the vessel and another at the crane, while the salvage team reportedly assessed that it would take at least 50 hours to pump all the fluids off the vessel and it had not begun before the hull ruptured.
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