OS 35 shipwreck survives winter storms Ship’s crew

The Captain of the Port of Gibraltar has received a report of the damage operating system 35 Shipwrecked by recent storms.

Damage to the block of flats and hull was to be expected but is not believed to be extensive.

The crack in the bulk carrier’s hull has extended to the port side and the ship is now held together by the bilge keel. However, the wreck has not moved from its original position following its controlled sinking last September as part of a plan to stabilize for severe weather.

Damage to the hull has allowed divers to inspect the damaged fuel tank 1. The other set of fuel tanks remains undamaged. The dive survey has confirmed with certainty that the tanks emptied during earlier stages of the operation are still intact and not at risk of failure.

Photo courtesy of the Port of Gibraltar

Ship cargo removal is a top priority and the damage inflicted by the storms has not affected cargo removal. So far, crews have removed 11,000 tons of steel bars, about a third of the ship’s total cargo.

Small amounts of oil residue have been found on some beaches, but no secondary contaminants or debris have been identified.

The port’s captain has updated the Spanish authorities and other stakeholders with the latest information.

“While the damage to the ship’s hull and accommodations was not ideal, it was foreseen and prepared for by removing as much oil as possible and cleaning the accommodations completely,” said port captain John Ghio. “These measures, together with the decision to sink the wreck in a controlled manner and thus secure it, gave the ship the greatest possible stability to withstand the winter storms as far as possible. Overall, I am pleased that the work continues to progress well, with cargo clearance remaining a priority.”

The Tuvalu-flagged bulk carrier was leaving the port of Gibraltar with a load of steel bars when it collided with the unloaded LNG carrier Adam LNG in the Bay of Gibraltar on August 29, 2022. The operating system 35 was then anchored off Catalan Bay on the opposite side of the Gibraltar peninsula where it partially sank and later broke apart resulting in the release of fuel oil.

Authorities have given shipowners and insurers until the end of May to complete wreck removal.

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