The Captain of the Port has approved a plan to move forward the handover of the OS 35 from the caretaking contractor, Resolve, to the Wreck Removal Contractor, Koole.
The handover process will involve the removal of the current boom surrounding the OS 35 and its replacement with a new boom, which is already in Gibraltar. Dive teams are on site today in order to further remove oil residues that may be trapped inside the hull of the vessel in advance of the operation, thereby minimising the potential for pollution to escape whilst the boom is being replaced. The new boom is expected to be deployed by the afternoon of 24th December.
As preparations for the start of wreck removal operations continue, the Koole 42 with Barge H-283, which departed from Suriname on 11th December, are making good progress so far. However, Koole 31 with Barge K10030 has been unable to depart from the Netherlands due to unfavourable weather conditions in Northern Europe. A suitable weather window means that they are now expected to depart on Christmas Eve, Sunday 24th December. Both Koole 42 and Koole 31 are expected to arrive in Gibraltar in the first week of January.
The Captain of the Port, John Ghio, said: ‘I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank Resolve for their excellent work and effort throughout the Caretaking Phase, which has been very successful and effective. I’d also like to thank all those working throughout the holidays to continue to monitor the wreck, limit the impact of any pollution and prepare for the beginning of the next stage of removal operations in the New Year.’