Following the collision of a bulk carrier with a liquefied natural gas tanker off Gibraltar, divers have sealed two tank vents that leaked fuel from the former. The carrier was damaged and later beached, local authorities said on Thursday. The hull of the bulk carrier OS 35 broke after the collision with an LNG tanker and started leaking fuel oil on Wednesday.
“The Captain of the Port confirmed that the leak of low sulfur fuel oil from the tank vents is fully under control,” the Gibraltar government said in a statement.
The LNG tanker, ADAM LNG, was not significantly affected by the collision, according to local authorities. No one was injured in the accident. The 24 crew members of the carrier were evacuated.
A boom, which is a temporary floating barrier used to contain an oil spill, had been placed in the area of the collision. The Gibraltar Port Authority is now working with a Spanish marine rescue crew to collect the fuel oil that escaped the perimeter of the boom. They will also skim the fuel that has remained inside the boom. The authority is also ramping up efforts to start pumping the fuel oil, diesel and lube oil from the vessel.
The operation to remove around 500 tonnes of the fuel from the ship’s tanks should take around 50 hours, Chief Minister of Gibraltar Fabian Picardo told Spanish broadcaster TVE.
The emergency had led to the partial closure of the Gibraltar to focus its resources on the issue. However, certain operations, such as the arrival of a cruise ship on Thursday, were allowed.
(With inputs from agencies)