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ESG raises concerns of RFA ‘engine noise’

The Environmental Safety Group has claimed that the Royal Navy RFA that is currently in Gibraltar for repairs is leaving its engine on continuously.

“There is air pollution from this source and given the very high noise level of this engine, which is particularly noticeable at night, the situation is extremely unpleasant and unsatisfactory for many residents in the vicinity,” the group said in a statement.

The ESG said it had received complaints from the public and therefore urged the relevant agencies to ensure that shore power is available and useable on the vessel so that the engine is only used when absolutely necessary for other onboard requirements.

“The background to this situation is that this type of quayside pollution from vessels occurs frequently enough to demand that more action is taken regarding its mitigation.”

“Shore side connection and conversion to local power supply needs to be facilitated throughout our Port to cover all vessels coming in for berthing and service,” the statement read.

The group said this would greatly assist in eliminating unnecessary air and noise pollution, which impacts on neighbouring residential areas.

This is particularly relevant in the GibDock facility, which already has a significant environmental impact on the frontline neighbourhood, the ESG added.

“It would seem clear to us, given our long historical links with the MoD, that all its vessels should have the necessary connection equipment to plug in to shore power and shut their own engines down while in harbour in Gibraltar.”

This present situation highlights that either new measures are required, or existing ones more effectively enforced, the group underscored.

The group added that it is taking up this issue with the MoD, the Ministry for the Environment, Captain of the Port and GibDock and will be seeking answers on legislation and enforcement procedures in place.