After the aft of the grounded bulk carrier OS 35 was lowered to better withstand coming bad weather, sheening of oil increased. Divers have now been able to locate the origin of the oil, which were oil pockets trapped within the frames of the hull. The oil has now been recovered.

The OS 35 collided with LNG tanker Adam LNG in the Port of Gibraltar on 29 August as it was manoeuvring to exit. Although the tanker only suffered minor damage, the OS 35 suffered a ten by four-metre gash in the starboard side of the hull and was making water. It was directed to a location off Catalan Bay to beach and prevent it from sinking. The bow went underwater and was resting on the seabed.

On Wednesday, 31 August, the hull broke, but the two parts have not yet fully separated. The vessel is sitting 700 metres off the shoreline of Catalan Bay. Since then, salvors have been busy removing fuel oil and diesel oil from the vessel as well as as much of the rest of the inventory as possible. The accident has resulted in several oil spills, with some oil reaching the shorelines. Booms and a catamaran that can skim the ocean surface have been deployed to catch as much of the oil as possible.

With upcoming bad weather, the aft of the OS 35 was lowered on Saturday 24 September to allow the bulk carrier to better withstand waves. This operation was successful but did result in more sheening escaping the vessel.

Also read: Partly sunken bulk carrier OS 35 withstands heavy weather, but sheening increases [UPDATED]

Oil responsible for sheening recovered

Divers discovered the sheening came from oil pockets and oil residues have been slowly seeping to the surface and off the vessel from there. By recovering this oil while still inside the vessel, the amounts coming off the vessel are further reduced.

After the bad weather had passed, a boom was once again put in place around the vessel. Further maintenance and repairs of the boom are ongoing, helping to further increase its effectiveness and therefore further reduce the appearance of free floating oil.

In the past few days, only minimal amounts of sheening have escaped the boom, and with the ongoing works even this minimal impact will be further reduced.

Also read: Hull of partially sunk bulk carrier OS 35 in Gibraltar breaks

Picture by the Government of Gibraltar.