Some of the heavy fuel oil escaped the boom but is being collected. / sur

Gibraltar and Spanish authorities are dealing with a leak of heavy fuel oil from beached bulk carrier

Salvage teams are shortly due to begin pumping fuel out of the OS 35 bulk carrier which is lying 700 metres off Catalan Bay, following a collision with the ADAM LNG on Monday night

DEBBIE BARTLETT Gibraltar

The Gibraltar authorities are shortly due to begin pumping fuel out of the OS 35 bulk carrier which is beached 700 metres off Catalan Bay, following a collision with the ADAM LNG on Monday night, but the Port Authority has also confirmed that there has been a leak of heavy fuel oil from the ship and a small amount has escaped the perimeter of the boom.

The oil spill. / SUR

The salvage team onboard have identified the source of this leak to two tank vents from the vessel’s bunker tanks. All vents had previously been sealed, but the seal of two vents became loose when the ship's hull 'crumpled' early yesterday evening.

Divers at the scene have been able to re-establish the seals, so the GPA is in the process of stopping the release of oil from the vents.

A Gibraltar Port Authority team and Spain's maritime rescue ship Luz de Mar are currently downstream from the OS 35 collecting the free floating oil that has already vented, and are to deploy sorbent booms. Skimmers are also being deployed onboard to start collecting what is inside the boom.

Further updates are expected during the rest of the day.