Authorities in Gibraltar have been working in response to an incident wherein a commercial vessel ran aground in the territory’s waters after it struck another ship earlier this week.
The incident involving the Tuvalu-registered bulk carrier OS 35 began as it was manoeuvring to exit the Bay of Gibraltar on Monday, August 29.
While manoeuvring, the bulk carrier clipped the hull of Adam LNG, a Marshall Islands-flagged LNG carrier.
The crew of OS 35 were then ordered by the Gibraltar Port Authority (GPA) to proceed to an area 200 metres off Catalan Bay. The ship was subsequently grounded to minimise the risk of sinking and to ensure the safety of the 24 sailors on board.
The bow came to rest at a depth of 1.2 metres and the ship itself developed a three-degree list to starboard.
Two GPA tugs have been deployed to the area to assist while pollution response teams have placed containment booms as a precaution, as the bulk carrier still had over 400 tonnes of oil in its tanks.
Personnel from Spain’s Salvamento Maritimo search and rescue (SAR) agency are also at the scene to support the response effort.
An inspection by divers revealed a 10- by four-metre gash amidships just below OS 35‘s waterline. A hydraulic leak has also been reported from the forward crane, which is the only one of the four cranes aboard the vessel affected by water ingress thus far.
An additional absorbent boom has therefore 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 into the sea.
Adam LNG meanwhile suffered only a “superficial dent” to its bulbous bow.
A specialist team of marine salvors from the Netherlands is due to arrive in Gibraltar within the next 24 hours. The salvors will conduct a full on-site assessment immediately upon their arrival.
OS 35‘s crew have not suffered any injuries from the incident.
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