La Línea closes beaches after oil remains found

by Lorraine Williamson
oil remains found on beach in La Linea

The municipality of La Línea de la Concepción (Cádiz) closed the beaches on Tuesday after oil remains were found. The oil comes from the tanker OS35, which ran aground in Algeciras Bay at the end of August following a collision with another ship. 

Oil remains have been found on the beaches of Santa Bárbara. The mayor of La Línea said it is very likely that the oil will also reach the beaches of San Bernardo and Levante El Carmen. Therefore, as a precaution, all beaches in La Línea are closed. In addition to the oil remains, according to the mayor, there is also a strong smell of hydrocarbons. 

Environmental Inspectorate Andalucia will soon decide on reopening beaches 

After the discovery of the oil residues, the municipality immediately decided to close the beaches. The environmental inspectorate of the Junta of Andalucia will later make a formal decision on how long the beaches should remain closed. 

Although lifeboats from Gibraltar had come a long way in pumping fuel from the tanker and from the sea, the mayor said it was foreseeable that not everything could be removed from the sea. Especially with the easterly wind and the extent of damage to the tanker’s hull, it was expected that some of the oil would end up in the sea or on the beaches. 

Cogesa Expats

Daily check of coastline Gibraltar and Andalucia 

Environmental units of the Autonomous Community daily check the 24-kilometre-long coastline of Campo de Gibraltar and the 16 beaches for pollutants. 

Cleaning services from La Línea de la Concepción have been working since Wednesday to clean the Levante beaches and coastlines. For example, in Los Barrios, in the bay of Algeciras, a municipal emergency plan has already been announced, after which a fence has been placed around the beach of Palmones because of pollution of the coastline and the beach. 

Gibraltar temporarily stops fishing and advises against swimming 

Gibraltar also announced earlier that it would temporarily suspend fishing and ban swimming in the sea after the appearance of fuel oil along the Gibraltar coastline. The port authorities of Gibraltar say they have discovered a new leak in the OS35 and have used all their resources to clean up the oil, both at sea and on land. Consequently, as a precaution, the docks and bays of Gibraltar have been closed. 

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