A view of the stricken ship and its fuel spill on Thursday. / sur

Gibraltar takes preventive action to protect the water supply from the OS 35 bulk carrier's oil spill

The mayor of La Línea, Juan Franco, says the oil has reached the Spanish town's beaches and the council is looking at its options for legal action against Gibraltar

DEBBIE BARTLETT Gibraltar

Gibraltar's Strategic Coordinating Group, chaired by deputy chief minister Dr Joseph Garcia, met this Friday morning, 2 September, to discuss the effects of the OS 35 bulk carrier situation on Gibraltar's water infrastructure.

AquaGib is working closely with the Port Authority to secure the area of Little Bay where one of the seawater intakes are installed. Generally, surface oil is not a problem for the water intakes as the intake inlets are sufficiently below the surface. However, as an extra precaution the government says the following measures have been taken:

• A square sorbent boom formation is already in place

• An additional layer of sorbents have been placed at the beach buoys line

• A launch has been tasked solely with actively tackling the sheening, which is in the area of Little Bay

• Absorbent booms have been placed inside the Beefsteak reservoir to prevent any oil being transferred to the Governor’s Cottage Reverse Osmosis plant.

The Gibraltar Contingency Council is meeting at the moment (Friday 12.30pm onwards) and is expected to provide more information about the spread of the heavy fuel oil which escaped the boom around the OS 35 yesterday.

In the meantime, the mayor of La Línea de la Concepción, Juan Franco, is reported as saying that the oil has reached the town's beaches and that the council is looking at what legal action it can take with regard to damage from the ship, which was beached 700 metres off Catalan Bay after colliding with another vessel, the ADAM LNG on Monday night.