Collision of two ships in the Strait of Gibraltar near Tangier

A bulk carrier loaded with fuel runs aground off Gibraltar. Photo: rights reserved.

Following a collision with an LNG tanker during an exit maneuver from the port, a ship sank off Gibraltar, but it was a partial sinking since the ship was only half submerged by the waters.  

The cargo of the first ship, we learn in an article published in El País, consists of 183 tons of fuel oil, 250 tons of diesel and 27 tons of lubricating oil. The Gibraltar Port Authority (GPA) has assured that, for the moment, the situation “remains stable” and that no fuel
leaks have been reported. 

The Port of the Rock has deployed containment barriers around the vessel and a team of divers has carried out an underwater inspection during which they located a breach in the center of the hull. In addition, the Algesiras Harbour Master’s Office launched inspection operations to prevent the spread of possible spills. 

The accident occurred late this Monday evening when the bulk carrier OS 35 collided with the LNG tanker Adam LNG, while the former was maneuvering to clear the port and the latter was anchored in the western anchorage of the infrastructure, according to Oman Ship Management Company, the company in charge of the second vessel. The Adam LNG – flagged to the Marshall Islands – sustained minor damage to the bulbous bow, but there was no “water ingress or pollution.” 

The OS 35 – flying the flag of Tuvalu, which was heading to Vlissingen in the Netherlands, suffered a less enviable fate and was taken by the GPA to Catalan Bay, a small natural bay located on the opposite side of the Rock from the port. 

“This was done as a precaution to stabilize it,” a Gibraltar government source told El Pais. The 24 crew members, who were not injured, are still inside the vessel in distress.  

So far, two tugs and three other Rock vessels are in the area and have deployed 400 linear meters of booms to prevent spills, although for now the situation remains stable and there is no appreciable fuel spill, according to the same sources.

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