Contractors revise OS 35 wreck removal schedule off Gibraltar

Contractors revise OS 35 wreck removal schedule off Gibraltar
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Contractors at the Port of Gibraltar have provided a revised plan and timeline for the final removal of the wreckage of the OS 35a Tuvalu-flagged bulk carrier, which sank in August 2022. Preparatory work to airtight parts of the wreckage is taking longer than anticipated, however, completion of the work is vital in ensuring that the removal of the wreck is achieved safely and without a negative impact on the environment. The aft section is expected to be launched on 29 May, with work to raise the front section using barges due to begin on 2 June, the new estimated date for the wreck’s complete removal is therefore 16 June. To mitigate against the risk of releasing residual oil trapped in the wreck, the port is working closely with contractors and the Department of the Environment to finalize detailed oil spill response plans. Detention barriers will also be placed around each section of the wreck to prevent debris spillage.

The salvors have been working on the removal of the wreck in stages, with all recoverable oil removed from the wreck last year, leaving only small amounts of residual oil on board. The cargo haul was completed in late April with the removal of 33,632 tons of steel bars. The preparatory work, which will enable the rebuoyancy and lift operation, has involved making airtight seals in the forward section compartments and experienced divers have been working at maximum capacity to seal and test the compartments. The operation will see chains routed under the hull to increase stability and provide control during the lifting process. The Port Authority of Gibraltar has emphasized the importance of completing each phase of the work carefully, safely, and consciously. While the short delay in final removal is regrettable, it is essential in ensuring potential future pollution is minimized, an impact on the environment and coastal areas of Gibraltar is averted, and the safety of those working on the salvage is ensured.

Tags: gibraltar,os 35 collision


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