The Gibraltar Contingency Council, chaired jointly by the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and His Excellency the Governor David Steel, convened once again this afternoon at No6 Convent Place to discuss the afternoon’s developments regarding the vessel OS 35.
- The crew on board the OS 35 continue to report as being safe and well.
- The Port Authority continues its technical planning, alongside surveyors and salvors, with the aim of commencing a salvage operation. This may involve removal of the fuel loaded in the vessel as soon as possible.
- During the course of the afternoon, the Gibraltar Port Authority responded to a leak of hydraulic fluid from the vessel’s forward crane, which is the only one of the four cranes aboard the vessel affected by water ingress so far. A sea boom has been deployed around the vessel to contain any pollution. An additional absorbent boom has been deployed to surround the crane structure, in order to minimise seepage at the source and to contain and collect the fluid to prevent further leeching to sea.
- This technical and operational planning will continue overnight to ensure that any salvage is conducted as safely and with as little risk to the environment as possible, and as soon as is safely possible.
The Gibraltar Contingency Council expects to convene again early tomorrow. Further updates will be forthcoming during the course of the day tomorrow.
The Chief Minister said: ‘I want to thank the Gibraltar Port Authority and in particular the Captain of the Port, Juan Luis Ghio, and his staff for the excellent way in which they have stepped up to deal with this incident since it was first reported last night. I also want to thank all the partner agencies with maritime assets that have stood up to assist the GPA and to ensure both the protection of the lives of the crews of the relevant vessels and the prevention of pollution as the two key priorities. As the GPA now progress the salvage operation, I expect that we will be seeing the continued cooperation of those partner agencies in Gibraltar and beyond. The key factor in the salvage operation for the GPA going forward will continue to be the prevention of any pollution on our Eastside, on our beautiful beaches and in particular Catalan Bay. We will deploy such necessary resources as may be required to seek to achieve that paramount objective.’