Tuesday, January 30, 2007
A Refrigerator ship ran aground on a Spanish beach in stormy seas today, spilling engine fuel over protected coasts near Gibraltar, according to environmental groups quoted in the Spanish media. The ship Sierra Nava was anchored in Gibraltar Bay when strong winds blew it onto a beach just south of Algeciras, a port across the bay from the British colony, the Spanish coastguard said. Local news reported the extreme radical environmental group Greenpeace as saying fuel from the breached hull of the 100-metre vessel had washed up along 4km of coast inside the Estrecho National Park.
Sierra NavaMaritime sources say the Sierra Nava is thought to have around 350 tonnes of fuel on board in four compartments, though only one had been damaged. The sources put the size of the fuel slick at nearer 1km. A Coast Guard helicopter rescued the crew of 14 who earlier had to put out a fire in the ship's engine room. Spain has been buffeted by strong winds and freezing temperatures over the past week, bringing snow to much of the peninsula including the normally balmy Mediterranean coast.