Ship part

Gibraltar confirms fuel leak from beached freighter


MADRID (AP) — A small amount of heavy fuel oil has escaped from a grounded bulk carrier since colliding with another ship near the Bay of Gibraltar on Monday, authorities said Thursday. The Gibraltar Harbor Master said the leak was “fully under control”.

The Port Authority said a small amount of oil leaked from the perimeter of a boom placed to contain any spill. A second barrier is expected to be deployed on Thursday to prevent further expansion of the spill. An aerial photo of the stricken vessel shows a small slick outside the dam.

The oil is collected by two vessels from the Gibraltar Ports Authority and Spanish Maritime Rescue. The environmental impact of the spill was not immediately clear. Divers sent to the ship have already sealed the source of the leak – two vents in the fuel tanks.

Fabian Picardo, the head of government of Gibraltar, explained to Spanish public broadcaster TVE that the pumping of the fuel remaining in the tanks will be carried out by the ship’s insurer.

The extraction is expected to last approximately 50 hours. The vessel stored 215 tonnes of heavy fuel oil, 250 tonnes of diesel and 27 tonnes of lubricating oil, Spanish news agency EFE reports.

The port of Gibraltar, which is usually very busy, remains closed.