The Gibraltar Contingency Council convened again this evening at No 6 Convent Place.
The Captain of the Port John Ghio updated the group, chaired by the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and the Governor Vice Admiral Sir David Steel, on this afternoon’s developments. Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia, Minister for the Environment Dr John Cortes and Minister for the Port Vijay Daryanani were also in attendance.
As of 5:30 this afternoon, 42 cubic metres of diesel had been pumped out of the OS 35 vessel by the salvage team. It is expected that most of the diesel will be pumped out by tomorrow morning as the advice received by the Captain of the Port suggests it will be possible to continue operations overnight. Latest indications at time of publication of this statement report 53 cubic metres of diesel have now been pumped out of the vessel, approximately one fifth of the load in the vessel’s tanks.
LOW SULPHUR FUEL OIL LEAK
Although there is still a visible amount of low sulphur fuel oil on the East Side, approximately half of the amount leaked this morning has been collected by booms and subsequently pumped into tanks.
There are currently three levels of containment working against the current with J formation booms at different points on the East Side to corral the oil.
Analysis from today shows that although this has been a significant leak, the consistency of the low sulphur fuel oil is lighter than during other incidents which have occurred in the Bay and this means it should be easier to dissipate and clean if any of the fuel oil reaches our shorelines.
EXTRA BOOMS DEPLOYED
An additional boom has been provided by the MOD and has been deployed to set up in Catalan Bay to protect the shoreline from the low sulphur fuel oil leak or any other potential leaks.
As a precautionary measure, booms have also been deployed to protect the salt-water intakes at Little Bay and prevent any potential risk to our water infrastructure.
SPECIES IN DISTRESS
The Department of the Environment is asking the general public to be vigilant and report any sightings of species in distress to tel 58009620.