It may have been a badly closed valve in the fuel tanks on a ferry that caused the spillage of 8,000 litres of fuel into the waters of Malaga's port early on Friday morning last week (15 August).
The spillage happened while refuelling was taking place on the Sicilia, belonging to the Baleària line that operates from Malaga to Melilla, the Spanish city on the north African coast. The slick was contained using floating anti-pollution barriers and a source said that is was lucky that it was diesel and not heavier, and potentially more damaging, fuel oil. The quick action meant that the slick was contained on Heredia quay, the inner harbour area of the city's port.
The following day skimming machines were used to take the pollutant off the top of the water as the port's emergency plan was activated.
Port authorities said no other vessels' operations had been affected and the Baleària line is carrying out an investigation into the cause. " The operation is gong ahead without incident," it stated.
The ferry carried out its scheduled departure for Melilla as planned.