Cleaners tackle Gibraltar beaches hit by wind-driven new oil spill from beached ship

CLEANING teams are still removing oil from Gibraltar beaches released after the sinking of the OS 35 bulk carrier off Catalan Bay.

The strong easterly Levante winds last weekend helped spread the oil – which the Captain of the Port said salvage teams were unable to remove – with Seven Sisters beach just south of Gibraltar’s harbour most heavily affected.

Oil Spill Response Limited experts are coordinated the oil cleaning operation along with the Department of the Environment and the Gibraltar Port Authority (GPA).

GPA boats replaced the booms around the OS 35 after the swell died down.

Spanish tugs from Algeciras have helped out in reducing the free-floating oil.

They situated themselves on the northern end of Eastern Beach to stop the oil moving into Spanish waters and staining its beaches.

The GPA suspended fuelling of ships to concentrate on the effort.

They found it harder to skim the heavier oil at Seven Sisters, instead using backwash methods to disperse it.

It comes after this publication received reports from beach users that said the both Catalan Bay and Eastern Beach were stinking with oil.

Cleanup teams have worked their way through both beaches, picking up tarballs manually at the fishing village of Catalan Bay.

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Cleaners work their way through Rosia Bay collecting soiled stones and placing a boom

They have also been active at both Camp Bay and Rosia Bay, with the latter completely closed off to the public.

Luckily the government reported that ‘there has been very limited impact to Sandy Bay and to Little Bay’.

The Captain of the Port John Ghio had last week advised that there was still some oil on the ship that could not be pumped out so this latest spill was unavoidable.

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