Gibraltar Port Shuts Down After Oil Spill As Gov Activates Contingency Plan

The port of the British overseas territory of Gibraltar has been shut down after an oil spill triggered an environmental alert.

Environmentalists warn of a “toxic cloud” covering the Strait of Gibraltar, the Bay of Algeciras and Ceuta, according to Spanish media, with the local authorities launching a contingency plan to contain the disaster.

Local ecologist organisation Verdemar Ecologistas en Accion said that the toxic cloud is due to emissions from ships that “harm human health, the environment and the climate.”

The oil spill reportedly occurred as a result of a refuelling manoeuvre gone wrong while being carried out at sea on Tuesday morning, 1st August.

Picture shows the oil spill and the ship, in Gibraltar Bay, Spain, undated. The ship Gas Venus was refueling when the leak occurredon Tuesday, August 1, 2023. (Government of Gibraltar/Newsflash)

It is currently unclear how much oil has been spilt but two beaches, in El Penon – the Spanish name for the Rock of Gibraltar, have reportedly already been hit by the spill.

Newsflash obtained a statement from HM Government of Gibraltar dated Tuesday, 1st August, saying: “The Gibraltar Port Authority initiated an oil spill contingency plan together with the Department of Environment following an oil spill at the bay of Gibraltar earlier this morning.

“The Port Authority called off all port operations to ensure every asset was available to help combat the spillage and tackle the incident as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

“Quantifying the amount of oil released into the bay is not currently the main priority as this can be misrepresented at this stage of the clean-up process. This data will be gathered throughout and the final figures will be made available once the clean-up operations have been concluded.

Picture shows the oil spill and the ship, in Gibraltar Bay, Spain, undated. The ship Gas Venus was refueling when the leak occurredon Tuesday, August 1, 2023. (Newsflash)

“Early indications that the impact of the oil spill has been limited to the area of Camp Bay and Rosia Bay and its immediate vicinity have been confirmed by drone footage obtained this morning, and by a Spanish helicopter overflight this afternoon.

“There have not been any sightings of any free floating streaks of oil moving away from this area, however this is being continuously monitored and may change with the tides.

“Operations will continue in a limited manner overnight and will resume in earnest tomorrow morning.

“Further updates will be provided as information becomes available.” (sic)


To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Joseph GolderSub-EditorMarija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash

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