The Gibraltar Port Authority, in conjunction with other agencies, has continued with the clean up operation caused by the oil spill in the early hours of Friday morning.
Yesterday, efforts were being focused on the retrieval of oil around the harbour and the Gibraltar Bay with assets from both the private sector and the public sector being deployed accordingly.
Clean up of revetments around the harbour began with the Gibraltar Joinery and Building Services (GJBS) having supplied sixteen workers who focused on retrieving oil and debris supervised by the GPA oil spill contractor, Brightside. Two bowsers belonging to Brightside and Wastage Products Gibraltar were deployed in the retrieval of any stagnant fuel patches around the harbour area.
Efforts have continued with collecting free floating oil from South mole corner, Small Boats Marina, Western arm, Rosia Bay and other small isolated patches in the inner harbour. Since the incident, the GPA has deployed eight staff members, Brightside Services Limited has deployed its full work force, the Ministry of Environment has deployed seven staff members and GJBS sixteen personnel to exclusively deal with this incident. This will continue until all oil is recovered and the coast line is fully restored.
All cost attributed to this incident will be recovered from the vessel and until such time that payment is received the vessel will remain detained in BGTW.
The Minister for the Port, Hon Vijay Daryanani MP, said “I am very satisfied with the work being done by all those involved and this will not stop until the oil has been cleaned up fully. It is disappointing to see any sort of oil spill in our bay and thankfully they are rare. I will make sure that we carry out a full investigation into how this accident occurred as soon as possible. I would like to thank the general public and in particular our boat owners for being so understanding and supportive of the work being done”
If any boat owners have experienced any losses as a result of this incident, they should contact the office of the Captain of Port.
The Captain of the Port has been in constant contact with relevant port operators and with the Captain of the Port of Algeciras, with whom he has had a very fluid communication, having spoken directly on numerous occasions each day since Friday once the extent of the incident became apparent.
There is no credible evidence to substantiate reports in some media of oil from this spill being present on land on the Spanish side of the bay.
This is the first spill in Gibraltar in many years, although a number of spills have been occasioned in the Bay, originating from Spanish operators, in that time.
The Government says it is considering all options to seek full recovery for the cost occasioned by the spill of oil. Prosecution under the provisions of the Port Rules has not been ruled out.