Hulk of OS 35 finally leaves Gibraltar

After 11 months the hulk of the bulk carrier OS 35 (IMO 9172399) departed the Port of Gibraltar on July 28th, bound for Amsterdam and recycling.

The wreck, which had been moved to the other side of Gibraltar after its collision tankship Adam LNG (IMO 9501186) while the OS 35 was leaving port, lay close to the shore and a popular beach in Gibraltar.

John Ghio, Captain of the Port of Gibraltar, said that “I’m delighted to confirm that the long and challenging operation to remove the wreck of the OS 35 from Gibraltar has been brought to a safe conclusion”. He confirmed that the vessel Fjord, carrying the wreck of the OS 35, departed British Gibraltar Territorial Waters during the early hours of Friday July 28th.

The AIS signal for the heavy lift vessels shows it arriving in The Netherlands on August 7th. The two sections of the vessel will then be handed over for a recycling operation.

During the salvage operation the vessel broke into two sections, despite a decision early in the salvage effort to sink the stern to rest on the seabed.  During the final phase of the salvage operation buoyancy was restored to the stern and it was refloated. It was anchored nearby with a crew working to maintain its buoyancy while the team focused on the more challenging part of lifting the bow section of the bulker. The lift began in late June and was completed in early July.

Koole reactivated semi-submersible barge Fjord, but this had been idle and required more than two months of outfitting and classification certification before it could join the project. The lift vessel has a “sternless” design, meaning that it could accommodate an overhang on the stern. That in turn meant that both sections of the OS 35 could be positioned aboard the 6,000 m/sq of deck area.

Gibraltar will continue to review the entire incident, looking for lessons to be learned. Port Captain Ghio has questioned some of the decisions and the communication between the OS 35 and the authorities after it struck anchored gas carrier Adam LNG while the OS 35 was leaving port on August 30th 2022. Because the vessel was outbound it was not required to have a pilot aboard. An analysis showed it hit the anchor chain of the 2014-built, 105,975 gt Adam LNG, pulling it into the forward portion of the OS 35.

The OS 35 took on water and was ultimately directed to the position on the other side of Gibraltar where it settled at the bow to the sea bed. The captain of the OS 35 recently pleaded guilty in Gibraltar to charges related to the handling of the vessel. He was given a suspended sentence.

1999-built, 20,947 gt OS 35 is owned by Oldstone Cargo Ltd care of Oldstone Management Ltd of Piraeus, Greece. At the time of the incident it was entered with British Marine on behalf of Oldstone Cargo, Ltd.