Some of the booms put in place to hold the oil spill were displaced by strong winds overnight. / sur

Work to pump fuel out of the OS 35 has continued over the weekend

The operation is also under way to remove any other possible contaminants from the ship while the weather conditions are still good

Debbie Bartlett

Work has continued non-stop over the weekend to pump fuel out of the OS 35 bulk carrier which collided with another ship while leaving Gibraltar last Monday, and to control the spillage of oil into the waters of the Bay. Operations were hampered by an ingress of water in the engine room which meant the ship's own power could not be used to pump the fuel, but this has now been overcome.

All other possible contaminants are now being removed from the ship, including chemicals, paint and soft furnishings, in preparation for any bad weather in the coming weeks; salvage teams are going section by section and locker to locker to remove as much as possible while weather conditions are favourable.

Reports yesterday showed that the bay was clear of oiling and free-floating sheening and the situation on the east side of Gibraltar had improved significantly, although there are still some patches in the area.

The latest news from the Gibraltar Port Authority and the government, issued at 8am on Monday, shows that high winds have affected some of the booms overnight. The second boom around the OS 35 has been displaced but not damaged, and the one to protect Catalan Bay has also been displaced and some parts of the boom have reached the shore. Work is under way to rectify this. There is a small sheen patch offshore.

No new oil has been reported at Little Bay, but the red flag is flying due to clean-up operations along the shoreline.

Some patches of oil at Sandy Bay, flag situation will be reviewed later this Monday morning.

There is no oil reported at Eastern or Western beach, and a yellow flag is flying on both.

There will be further updates during the day.