Bulk carrier beached off East Side after collision with LNG tanker

A survey inspection by a specialist team of divers this morning has confirmed that the OS 35’s bulbous bow is currently submerged 1.2 metres into the sandy seabed.

The ship is beached on the East Side of the Rock, after it clipped the LNG tanker ADAM LNG as the former was manoeuvring to exit the Bay.

There is significant damage to the vessel’s starboard side, including a gash amidship, below the waterline, measuring approximately ten metres by four metres.

All crew members are safe and well, with no injuries reported, and are remaining on board.

The ship was directed to the East Side by the Port Authority to ensure it could be beached, to minimise the risk to the ship and its crew.

The bow of the vessel is resting on the seabed in 17 metres of water, listing only by three degrees to starboard, around 200 metres off Catalan Bay.

Number Six says the crew of 24 remain onboard, at the request of the Captain of the vessel, although the ship is ready to be evacuated if necessary.

Tugs were deployed, and around 400 metres of boom are available on scene ready to be deployed around the vessel in the event of an oil spill.

The OS 35 is flagged in Tuvalu and is presently loaded with steel rebars.

It is loaded with 183 tonnes of heavy fuel oil, 250 tonnes of diesel and 27 tonnes of lube oil and was leaving Gibraltar to head to Vlissengen in the Netherlands;

The Port Authority is continuously reviewing the situation, with the Contingency Council convened and the Governor, Chief Minister and Minister for the Port being briefed by the Captain of the Port.

The vessel ADAM LNG appears to have suffered no significant damage, except for a superficial dent to its bulbous bow.

No injuries have been reported among the crew and there has been no water ingress.

This has been confirmed by divers and by an internal survey.

A specialist team of marine salvers from the Netherlands, is due to arrive in Gibraltar early on Tuesday afternoon to conduct a full on-site assessment Immediately on their arrival.

The Government is advised that weather conditions are forecast to be good in the coming days, which will assist in operations moving forward.

The Port of Algeciras is working in close coordination with the Gibraltar Port Authority, the tug Luz de Mar and the Salvamar Denebola is at the location. Algeciras has also been authorised to deploy assets including a Salvamento Maritimo helicopter, to undertake an aerial survey of the OS 35.

All port operations were suspended by the port Authority for around 4 hours and the Port fully reopened this morning for all activity.

A notice to mariners has been issued with a 200m exclusion zone already in place around the OS 35. This will remain in force until further notice.

All port operations were suspended by the Port Authority for approximately 4 hours and the Gibraltar Port has now fully reopened for all activity.

31st August 2022
A salvage operation is being planned to refloat the OS 35, the cargo ship that was beached 200 metres off Catalan Bay in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

In drafting those plans, salvors, surveyors and port officials will have two priorities in mind: protecting the safety of personnel involved in the operation, and minimising the risk of pollution.

The OS 35, which is loaded with steel rebars, was grounded after it began taking on water following a collision in the Bay of Gibraltar with the liquefied natural gas carrier Adam LNG, which sustained only minor damage.

An investigation is under way to establish the cause of the collision.

So far there has been minimal pollution and the OS 35 remains stable, with Gibraltar-based tugs and port vessels, supported by Spanish vessels, stationed around the ship with booms.

Yesterday afternoon, the Gibraltar Port Authority responded to a leak of hydraulic fluid from the vessel’s forward crane, which is the only one of the four cranes aboard the vessel affected by water ingress so far.

“A sea boom has been deployed around the vessel to contain any pollution,” the Gibrakltar Government said.

“An additional absorbent boom has 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 to sea.”

The crew on the OS 35 remain on board the vessel and are safe.

The Gibraltar Contingency Council will meet on Wednesday morning and consider the technical options prepared by experts.

One key consideration will be whether to remove the fuel and lubricants on board.

The OS 35 was carrying 183 tonnes of heavy fuel oil for its own consumption, alongside 250 tonnes of diesel and 27 tonnes of lube oil.

While this is a relatively small amount of fuel in comparison with other ship casualties, the proximity to the shoreline will heighten the urgency to ensure any spillage is swiftly contained and mopped up.

Salvors may also need to lighten the vessel’s load and remove some of its cargo before it can be refloated.

“This technical and operational planning will continue overnight to ensure that any salvage is conducted as safely and with as little risk to the environment as possible, and as soon as is safely possible,” the Gibraltar Government said.

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A Major Incident (MAJAX) has been declared under the provisions of the Civil Contingencies Act.

Although all all fuel valves were isolated before the break occurred, initial reports suggest a leak of lube oil which is currently contained within the primary boom.

GOVERNMENT STATEMENT

The Gibraltar Contingency Council, chaired by the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, and the Governor, Vice Admiral Sir David Steel, has met to discuss the break of the Bulk Carrier OS 35.

Given the latest development affecting the vessel and the fact that it remains loaded with fuel, on the advice of the Captain of the Port and the other members of the GCC, a Major Incident (MAJAX) has now been declared.

It is important to note that Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar and its partner agencies have been working towards this posture throughout.

MAJAX has now been officially declared to allow for all available resources to be directed to dealing with this emergency.

All other day-to-day operations at Gibraltar Port have been stopped to ensure availability of resources.

As a result:

  • all GPA service craft are on standby;
  • all booms at the GPA’s disposal have been mobilised;
  • 2 vessels will be deployed in U formations with booms to start corralling any oil that might spill from the vessel and that might leak from the primary boom;
  • an additional boom will be deployed along the coastline that is at risk of direct impact; and
  • the salvage master has been authorised by the Captain of the Port to re-board the vessel to gather facts, together with the P&I on-scene commander.
    There has been a substance leak from the vessel as a result of the movement arising from its break. Initial investigations indicate that this is lube oil. This lube oil is currently contained within the primary boom and all efforts will be made to remove it from the sea using a skimmer and sludge barge before it is able to leak from within the boom.

The ship has (27 tonnes of lube oil)

The salvage master has confirmed to the Captain of the Port that all fuel valves were isolated before the break occurred.

The priority of the Captain of the Port and of the Government of Gibraltar is to mitigate and minimise any environmental impact.

The Captain of the Port of Algeciras has been briefed and the Salvamento Maritimo helicopter is conducting a flyover at 8:00pm. Other Salvamento Maritimo assets are assisting also.

The Chief Minister has briefed the Leader of the Opposition on the latest developments and the declaration of the Major Incident. The Chief Minister has also briefed the President of the Junta de Andalucia, Snr Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla, the President of the Cadiz Deputacion and Mayor of San Roque Juan Carlos Ruiz Boix, and the Mayor of La Linea, Juan Franco.

Bulk carrier OS 35 beached off Gibraltars east side after collision with LNG

Government hopeful the OS 35 can be refloated but says not out of the woods yet

The Gibraltar Port Authority has confirmed heavy fuel oil has escaped from the cargo ship OS 35, which is beached in Catalan Bay, with tugs deploying booms to collect the oil at sea.

The spill comes after the hull of OS 35 was "crumpled" following a collision with liquefied natural gas carrier Adam LNG in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The salvage team onboard have identified the source of this leak to two tank vents from the vessel’s bunker tanks, the GPA confirmed.

"All vents had previously been sealed, but the seal of two vents became loose on the crumpling of the vessel," GPA said.

"Divers on scene have been able to re-establish the seals, so the GPA is in the process of stopping the release of oil from the vents."

"The Gibraltar Port Authority J formation and the Salvamento Maritimo Luz de Mar are both downstream from the vessel collecting the free floating oil that has already vented."

"Skimmers are currently being deployed onboard to start collecting what is inside the boom."

"Both the GPA and the Luz de Mar will also deploy sorbent booms."

"The slops barge will be brought alongside the OS 35 shortly to begin to pump out its fuel."

As the operation to pump diesel oil out of the OS 35 progresses well, some of the heavy fuel oil that leaked from the beached bulk carrier on the east side yesterday seems to have made its way over to Rosia Bay.

GBC footage yesterday evening had shown how the spill had extended beyond Europa Point and into the Bay. And this morning some of that spillage has made its way onto the GIbraltar coastline.

In waters off Catalan bay, the situation has remained stable with continuous pumping out of diesel from the OS 35 vessel overnight. By 0700 today, 197 cubic metres of diesel had been removed from the vessel, around 80% of its diesel load now removed.

Port operations remain suspended.

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Gibraltar Oil Spill 2022

Captain of Gibraltar oil spill ship arrested for ignoring instructions

The captain of the OS 35 bulk carrier ship leaking fuel off Gibraltar since Thursday has been arrested, police sources confirmed Friday.

The Tuvalu-flagged vessel carrying steel bars left the Bay of Algeciras for Vlissingen in the Netherlands Monday and collided with the Adam LNG, which bore the flag of the Marshall Islands. The collision happened when the OS 35 was moving to exit the Bay of Gibraltar. No one was injured in the accident. All 24 members of the OS 35 were evacuated promptly.

“He didn’t stop, he didn’t follow the instructions and said he had no damage,” Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo explained in an interview. He stressed the captain had “many questions” to answer after ignoring Gibraltarian authorities in the aftermath of the spill.

After the initial collision, the OS 35 tried to sail on but the captain admitted he “could not continue” because the boat had “notable” water leaks once in the Bay of Gibraltar.

The captain was reported Friday to be cooperating “with the detectives of the Division of Crimes and Protection Services of the Royal Police of Gibraltar.”

Water entered the ship, which broke down late Thursday and began leaking 500 tons of its own fuel, which was not the vessel's cargo but rather meant for its engines.

A relief deployment began pumping the fuel that was controlled by a floating barrier known as a ”boom“ placed around the OS 35 following the discovery of the leak. Gibraltar authorities confirmed 4,000 liters of oil and water had been recovered from the boom already.

Picardo confirmed that “from the beginning, there has been coordination with Spain” to clean up waters off both Gibraltar and Spain. Gibraltar officials also announced that the leak was ”fully under control“ and that the priority was ”to corral and collect the free-floating oil that has escaped the boom, as well as to remove the oil that has remained contained inside the boom.“

The OS 35 has been beached in the Bay of Gibraltar since the two vessels collided late Monday.

”The Gibraltar Port Authority has confirmed a leak of heavy fuel oil a small amount of which has escaped the perimeter of the boom,” the government said in a statement.

Work to extract heavy fuel oil from the aft storage tank of the wreck of the OS 35 continued overnight and should be completed during the course of the day, the Gibraltar Government said on Saturday morning.

The process was “slightly slower pace than predicted” but the situation at sea remains stable.

Continuous monitoring has been in place throughout the night including drone and land based thermal imagining, and an assessment is being made to determine if any oil is leaking from the submerged tanks.

Once the aft tank is empty, salvors will prepare a plan to extract about 126 tonnes of heavy fuel oil that remain in the foreward tank of the vessel, which is submerged and will prove more complicated to empty.

And additional boom will also be placed around the ship in a diamond formation, a process that could take around 12 hours.

The developments came as the Spanish Government’s top maritime official praised Gibraltar’s decision to ground the OS 35 in shallow water on the east side of the Rock.

Benito Nuñez, the Director General of Spain’s Merchant Marine Directorate, oversees the country’s maritime emergency and rescue services.

In an interview with El Pais published on Saturday, he said beaching the vessel had been the correct decision and meant salvage and anti-pollution operations would be easier.

“We can talk about details, but the manoeuvre was not incorrect,” he told El Pais.

“In the event of a sinking, a vessel at a depth of 200 metres is not the same as [a vessel] at 17 metres.”

“Everything is easier when it’s close, the same when it comes to containing pollution.”

“The visuals are more dramatic and troublesome, but it’s better.”

Spanish tugs and aerial surveillance assets have been working closely with Gibraltarian authorities from the outset of the OS 35 accident, and helping to contain pollution at sea to minimise the amount of oil reaching shore.

“We offered and they accepted,” Mr Nuñez said, describing how Gibraltar’s Captain of the Port, John Ghio, had contacted his counterpart in Algeciras, Karim Breir, shortly after the collision.

“They’ve had a very constructive attitude.”

“They’ve kept us informed.”

“Gibraltar has made an effort to provide information.”

Mr Nuñez said it was important to draw lessons from incidents such as this but that it was too soon to reach any conclusion on what had led to the collision.

“I’m not one for quick value judgements without rigorous analysis, without having all the elements,” he said.

“As with every accident there will be all the necessary investigations and, from there, conclusions will be drawn.”

Captain of the Port John Ghio says the right decision was taken to move the OS35 to the Eastside. He says all factors were taken into consideration and moving the vessel into dry dock was not feasible. Mr Ghio says he is very proud of his team and partner agencies and their work this week.

Decision to move OS35 to the Eastside was the right one says Capt of the Port

HMS Prince of Wales Update and OS35 Breaks in 2

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A total of 41,000 litres of fuel and water have been removed so far from tank 1 of the stricken vessel, OS 35.

It is suspected that all parts of tank 1 have been compromised with water to a certain degree. This means that salvors should be able to draw out any fuel within because of water accumulations inside pushing the fuel up towards the vents.

Investigations into the cause of water ingress into the vessel’s engine room confirm that a manhole had not been totally sealed. The stress on the hull caused the keel duct to flood and water then seeped into the manhole and then the engine room. This has now been sealed and there is no longer a need for continuous pumping of water out of the engine room, although some minor ingress continues to drip in. Control has been re-established over the engine room.

Water continues to be pumped out of cargo hold 5. Divers are actively working to patch the leak as this would provide added buoyancy to the vessel.

Work is ongoing to tackle free-floating sheen using a combination of sorbent booms and skimmers.

The drum skimmer has removed at least 5000 litres of fuel from inside boom 1 since last night, and continues to tackle fuel concentrations on the side of the hull. A second skimmer yesterday collected an additional 12,000 litres of fuel from within boom 1.

The catamaran is making its way to the east side after re-provisioning and will be operational imminently. Whilst tidal conditions can be expected to change through the day, there are currently no indications of further free floating sheen at Europa Point spreading West.

Daily checks of all water intake inlets are being conducted by dive teams. There are currently no indications of any oil at any of AquaGib’s water intake inlets. AquaGib are also closely monitoring salt water collection points at Beefsteak Reservoir, where there is no indication of oil.

Teams of volunteers, local NGOs and the Department of the Environment continue landside cleanup operations. Some oily patches have been found at Gorham’s Cave. There are reports of some Gulls and Mediterranean Shags soiled with oil but none have yet been discovered in distress for now.

The ship had 183 mt of heavy oil, 250 mt of marine diesel, and 27 mt of lubricants.

The environmental impact or the quantity of oil spilled was not immediately clear.

The heavy fuel oil is potentially more damaging to the environment and more difficult to extract, raising concerns in Spain and Gibraltar for marine life and tourism in the area. The mayor of La Linea, Spain said that an oil slick from a damaged and partly sunken bulk carrier ship off Gibraltar has reached a nearby Spanish beach, which was closed - Mayor says fuel slick from Gibraltar reaches Spanish coast
(MSN)

Gibraltar struggled on Friday to minimise any environmental impact of a fuel leak from a bulk carrier three days after it collided with a tanker, as reports of oiled birds emerged and several beaches in Spain and the British territory flew red flags - https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2022-09-02/pollution-fears-grow-as-beached-ship-off-gibraltar-leaks-fuel

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The master of the grounded cargo ship OS 35 appeared before the Magistrates Court on Thursday morning charged with several offences under Gibraltar’s shipping, conservation and heritage laws.

Syrian national Abdelabari Kaddura, 53, faces seven charges alleging he endangered other vessels and failed to take the necessary steps to avoid collision, actions which prosecutors claim caused damage to protected conservation sites and the Gorham’s Cave World Heritage Site.

The serious nature of some of those offences means the case will be heard by the Supreme Court.

Mr Kaddura, who was assisted by an interpreter during a short hearing on Thursday morning, was granted court bail in the sum of £1000 in his own recognizance.

He was also required to surrender his travel documents.

Stipendiary Magistrate Charles Pitto adjourned the case to October 27.

The OS 35 was grounded 700m off Catalan Bay following a collision in the Bay of Gibraltar of Gibraltar on August 29.

After the collision and despite containment efforts, a small amount of oil from the ship’s own stores escaped from the damaged hull and washed up on the shoreline.

Mr Kaddura was charged on Wednesday after an investgation by the Royal Gibraltar Police on behalf of the Gibraltar Port Authority.

On Thursday, Mr Pitto granted a Crown application to amend the dates on some of the charges, which had been wrongly filed with August 31 as the date of the collision due to an administrative error with the police system.

Mr Kaddura was represented at the hearing by Freddie Vasquez, KC.

Cristina Wright appeared for the Crown.

Since the bulk carrier OS 35 beached in waters off Catalan Bay, drone images have been used to establish whether there has been any significant new discharge of fuel.

Before the operation to lower the vessel further into the sea bed, our reporter Jonathan Scott spoke to one of the Government’s drone camera operators, Carl Netto.

How drone images have been used to survey waters around OS 35 coordinate the...

Gibraltar Operation to lower the aft section of the beached OS 35

The environmental scenario that Gibraltar feared has materialised over the last few days when black oil leaked from the beached vessel OS35 after it was deliberately sunk in order to better resist the full brunt of easterly winds. This is, nonetheless, a far cry from the full nightmare situation that the authorities could potentially have faced when the collision took place at the end of August.

TONNES
It is important to recall that the OS35 was carrying 215 tonnes of heavy fuel oil, 250 tonnes of diesel fuel and 27 tonnes of lubricant oil when the decision was taken to beach it in shallow water off Catalan Bay. This action immediately reduced both the environmental risk and the risk to the lives of the 24 crew members on board the freighter. The kind weather delivered the space and the time for the vast majority of the oil on board to be pumped out, and although there was some light sheening, this was dealt with professionally and efficiently by the different Government agencies and the commercial entities involved.

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ESG says damage from OS 35 oil spill to Seven Sisters area 'shocking, unprecedented & way beyond its abilities to clean up'

The Environmental Safety Group says the damage from the OS 35 oil spill to the Seven Sisters area is shocking, unprecedented and way beyond its abilities to clean up.

It says just days after its volunteers removed large amounts of plastics and other non-organic waste on Clean up the World day, the shoreline was plastered with thick, tarry oil.

The Group says this is a thriving ecosystem and marine reserve, and calls for the publication of the true impact of the damage.

It says contractors are now based at Seven Sisters hoping to make a difference, and pledges its volunteers to assist as much as possible.

ESG Volunteers at Seven Sisters

Cleanup by the Department of the Environment

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Thus far images of tarry oil on rocks have been published, but based on the statement below it is much worse than that. Sad situation.

“It was very sad to see the impacts on the species that live in this intertidal zone with volunteers coming across many affected by the oil. ESG understands that a survey is underway by the department.” ESG Says It’s “Very Sad” To See Impact Of Oil On Seven Sisters Coastline - Your Gibraltar TV (YGTV)

The Captain of the Port has received an indicative schedule from the salvors for the salvage and wreck removal of the OS 35. This includes an indicative timeline for the removal of the wreck and its contents.
The provision of this plan follows the issuing of a Wreck Removal Notice to the vessel’s owners by the Captain of the Port, under the provisions of Part VIIIA of the Merchant Shipping Act.

The Notice requires that the wreck must be removed by the owners in a proper and timely manner consistent with considerations of safety and environmental protection legislation, and in particular with the protection of the marine environment.
The Notice requires the complete removal of the wreck and its contents by 30th May 2023.