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  • A ship graveyard

    The ESG would first like to commend the efforts of emergency and rescue teams whose efforts secured the lives of the crew from the stricken vessel, El Fedra in unbelievably difficult conditions. The sight of the massive metal structure brought to its knees at Europa Point, in what is fast becoming a ship graveyard has shocked and horrified all who have seen her split in two.

    The area is in fact one of Gibraltar’s most important ecological and historical sites and the ESG hopes that Govt plans to designate this area as an exclusion zone to all ships will go some way in avoiding certain types of accidents in the future. However that measure would not have avoided El Fedra’s crash and hopefully the ongoing police and maritime investigation will reveal some reason for this latest tragedy.

    What is also of concern and has been raised by the ESG with Govt recently is the large number of vessels anchored in an off-limits zone on the eastern side of the Rock. This potential problem was also highlighted in the report into the Samothraki accident by the Maritime Administration. Several recommendations were made within that report into how ship movements and monitoring could be improved both from the Gibraltar port side and at cross border level. It is understood that the Gibraltar Govt will be applying all recommendations made.

    It is hoped that authorities from both sides of the border will address the serious environmental challenges posed by the dense level of shipping activity in the Bay and avoid an ecological disaster.

    Finally, the ESG has already notified the Minister for the Environment’s offices that a growing number of volunteers are signing up to help clean the beaches of oil- it is a reminder yet again that there are many in the community who care and are willing to lend a hand in a time of crisis. We are now waiting for their call