Risk of 460 tonnes of oil spillage after tanker collision in Gibraltar

by Lorraine Williamson
oil spillage

Members of the local branch of the Spanish environmental movement Ecologistas en Acción in Cadiz are warning that the situation created by the OS 35 tanker accident ‘threatens the environment and the economy of the Bay of Algeciras and the Costa del Sol’.

The tanker OS 35 had a collision with another vessel, as a result of which its hull broke. The Government of Gibraltar advised it has put in place ‘a sea wall to contain any oil leak’. However, the environmental movement fears ‘an oil spillage due to the 460 tonnes the tanker is carrying’. Therefore, it has asked the Gibraltar Government for information on various technical aspects of the tanker. Such as whether the OS35 had a pilot on board, ‘whether it is true that it was left with its engine stopped’ and, if so, ‘why the emergency engine was not activated’.  

Oil spillage fear

The main concern is the amount of oil and fuel in the vessel. Consequently, information is being sought on how many holds have been affected and the stability of the damaged vessel at this time. Important information to know if it can facilitate or hinder the leaking of all the fuel that is in the ship,’ the members of Ecologistas en Acción indicate. In particular, they point out that ‘this accident only highlights that the Port of Gibraltar does not have sufficient resources or technical preparation to deal with such a delicate situation’. Therefore, they call for ‘urgent intervention from the Spanish Government through the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda’.  

cogesa expats

Who is responsible?

They also want the Spanish Ministry to ‘assume direct responsibility for supervising all the work that needs to be done at the moment, involving the stability of the vessel and the extraction of fuel with barges from the area’. Furthermore, they call for a parallel investigation to establish who is responsible for this environmental disaster. 

Also read: Tanker collision initial information

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