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Failed valve on cargo ship causes oil spill in bay

Photo courtesy of a Chronicle reader.

A valve problem on a bulk carrier anchored in British waters in the Bay of Gibraltar caused an oil spill on Friday, some which drifted into the harbour basin.

As boat marinas inside the harbour deployed booms to stop the spill damaging boats, the Gibraltar Port Authority implemented its counter pollution plan and liaised too with Spanish authorities, who assisted in containing the spill.

As clean-up operations got under way inside the harbour and in the bay, two vessels from Spain including a large salvage tug operated by Salvamento Maritimo deployed booms at sea to contain the spill as it drifted toward La Linea.

Crew on the AM Ghent confirmed that the spill was caused after one of its venting valves failed.

The GPA’s Bunkering Superintendent attended to investigate the issue further and coordinate the clean-up.

“The Captain of the Port contacted his counterpart in Algeciras to inform him of the situation and although assistance was offered, it was declined but special permission was granted for two Spanish assets to come into BGTW to prevent oil from transgressing the median line in the bay,” a government spokesman said.

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