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  • Traffic on land … traffic at sea …

    Whilst remains of the New Flame are still being recovered from the sea, Gibraltar witnessed another near-miss collision in our waters last Thursday morning. A container ship, Veronica B, heading for a Spanish port, turned sharply to avoid hitting a vessel laden with palm oil, the Ginga Sekar, itself leaving Gibraltar having taken on bunkers at anchorage.

    The Environmental Safety Group is seriously concerned that these types of incidents continue to happen. It views with profound worry the disastrous consequences that could affect Gibraltar and the surrounding area if one of these incidents instead resulted in an irreversible environmental and human catastrophe.

    This latest incident in the harbour is yet another reminder of the hazards posed by the intense maritime activity and lack of adequate co-operation and controls.

    The ESG urges authorities on both sides of the border to take whatever steps necessary to ensure that the Bay and surrounding waters are properly monitored and controlled as a highway with “traffic lights” at those specified junctions where ships heading for Algeciras and those heading for Gibraltar may have to cross over. This needs the closest co-ordination between the two port authorities as has been repeatedly called for by NGO’s from both sides of the border.

    The ESG considers that the public should be reassured that such steps are being taken without further delay.