It is absolutely imperative that all measures necessary are taken to prevent any environmental disaster occurring off Catalan Bay and our coastline.
Leader of the Opposition, Keith Azopardi said: “The confirmation by Government of reports this afternoon that the hull of the Bulk Carrier OS 35 is broken raises the most serious red flags that should lead to further emergency resources being deployed to combat any risk and to prevent an environmental disaster.
It also raises questions as to some aspects of the handling of the emergency so far, why the ship was advised to come so close to shore at Catalan Bay given that it had approximately 500 tonnes of diverse fuels and why measures could not be taken more promptly to ensure the fuel aboard the vessel was pumped out. Those
issues as to the management of the operation as well as to the causes of the collision will be for another day and should be part of a full and independent investigation.
At this stage all efforts should be on rolling out the most robust oil spill response contingency and undertaking the necessary phases of the salvage operation and fuel-pumping swiftly and safely. It makes sense therefore that a Major Incident [MAJAX] has been declared this evening and further emergency oil
spill response measures are being taken by the port authorities. No stone should be left unturned to prevent and minimise the environmental impact of this collision.”