The European Maritime Safety Agency said yesterday that several metric tons of oil have been recovered after the two freighters ran aground in rough waters last week causing an oil spill.
“A number of tons of oil have already been recovered, thus reducing the environmental damage caused by the accident,” EMSA said in a statement.
Spanish authorities contacted EMSA, which chartered an oil recovery vessel based in Algeciras Bay to recover slicks and prevent the oil from reaching the coast.
“Since Sunday, the EMSA vessel Bahia Tres has been involved in locating oil slicks... and, more importantly, has been recovering patches of oil and smaller slicks wherever possible,” the statement said. The Lisbon-based agency also offered Spanish authorities radar satellite images of the affected areas.
The Liberian-flagged Fedra was carrying around 300 tons of fuel when it ran ashore Friday and later broke in two, while the second cargo ship, the Tawe, which ran aground overnight Friday, was carrying 1,000 tons of fuel. “The Bahia Tres will stay there as long as the Spanish authorities want it to, “ Louis Baumard said.
“A catastrophe was averted because the ships were only carrying propulsion fuel. Gibraltar and Spain have been very lucky,” he added.