Efforts are being taken to clear the bulk carrier’s wreckage that reportedly beached about five months off the Gibraltar coast. The salvage operation for bulker OS 35 is likely to commence in 2023 (January). The authorities have set a deadline to clear the wreckage by 30 May 2023.
Specialized vessels are underway to Gibraltar to start the salvage operation. Handling tugs Barge H283 and Koole 42 have reportedly departed from Suriname in South America and are now a part of the team that will carry out the bulker’s salvage operation. The vessels Barge H10030 and Koole 31 are in the Netherlands and are being prepared for the salvage operation. They are expected to join the salvage team in Gibraltar soon.
Salvage crew members are breaking the vessel apart for removal. The Gibraltar Port Authority (GPA) has reported that the divers have reportedly vacuumed up oil residues worth over 3000 litres from the vessel’s hull. The bulker was loaded with about 33,632 tons of steel bars. The steel will reportedly be removed and then sent for recycling.
OS 35 lies approximately 2000 feet away from the Catalan Bay shore. On 29 Aug, while setting sail from Gibraltar, the bulk carrier had run into a collision with a natural gas carrier dubbed the “Adam LNG”. The ship master of OS 35 had grounded the vessel intentionally to avoid sinking. Still, later on, the ship seemed damaged beyond repairs, and the authorities decided to drop it to mitigate coastline pollution.
The salvage mission involves splitting the wreck into two and being cautious with the hydrocarbon deposits that stay onboard. The split parts will be lifted onto specialized ships and then taken to a recycling plant that’s yet to be determined.
References: FleetMon, Riviera
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