Algeciras, Spain, Sep 2 (EFE).- A cleanup operation is underway on Spain’s southern coast after a ship collision off the coast of Gibraltar led to a fuel leak.
The OS 35 vessel became grounded on Tuesday after colliding with a tanker off the coast of the British Overseas Territory, which borders Spain in the far south of the Iberian Peninsula.
By Friday, evidence of the spill washed ashore in Spain’s La Línea de la Concepción.
Gibraltar authorities rushed to establish an anti-pollution boom around the vessel and on Friday said 80% of the vessel’s diesel load had been pumped off safely.
However, some of the fuel that leaked into the sea was carried beyond the boom towards the Spanish side of the coastline, Juan Franco, the mayor of La Línea de la Concepción, said Friday.
“What has entered is a spill of worrying proportions, but it is not a tragedy.
“If the work keeps up this rhythm and the vessel is emptied of its combustible material, then the first serious problem will have been solved.”
He added: “As of this morning they have removed 80% of the fuel it was transporting, which is 40% of all the material, and the work goes on.”
The mayor said that half the fuel that leaked into the sea, roughly 8 tons overall, had successfully been removed and that efforts to remove the remaining half were ongoing and expected to conclude “as soon as possible.”
The OS 35 vessel beached after it clipped an LNG tanker as it maneuvered out the Bay of Gibraltar.
The captain of the vessel was detained by Gibraltar police for allegedly not following the orders of port authorities. EFE