Burnt yacht wreckage recovered

The wreckage of the pleasure craft, that caught fire and sank off Bighi last week, has been recovered from the sea bed yesterday afternoon. The wreckage has been towed ashore and placed on land for further investigations.

Transport Malta monitored the situation closely since the accident and was in contact with the owner of the craft and the Police. As soon as the Police gave their authorisation, the Authority instructed the owner to remove the wreckage, as soon as possible, to minimise any associated risks or dangers.

The owner cooperated fully and engaged the services of a firm, to remove what was left of the boat from the seabed, using divers and specialised equipment. TM officers from the Vessel Traffic Services, Port Inspectors Unit and Maritime enforcement officers ensured that the operation was carried out safely.

On the day of the accident, TM officials were on site to monitor for any kind of spillage or potential contamination. Personnel from the Marina itself, Civil Protection Department and other entities, collected debris which resulted from the fire, more specifically debris which could have posed a danger to the navigation of other vessels.

The Authority kept monitoring the wreckage and cooperated with other entities to minimise any potential contamination. It was aware of a thin sheen that formed off Kalkara following the accident, however, nothing could be done to recover it. The sheen has since evaporated and dispersed naturally.

Transport Malta takes this opportunity to highly commend the brave actions of the Marina employees, whose quick thinking and effective action helped avoid a much more serious accident.

Maltex 2018: Success

 National Exercise to prevent pollution at sea, Maltex 2018

Transport Malta hosted a national pollution response exercise, off Maltese shores, last week.  The scenario saw a large oil spill from a vessel following a collision with another.  The pollution response involved the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), several local and international entities.  EMSA made available new equipment from its assistance service arrangement located in Ravenna, Italy. The equipment was deployed in the Mediterranean for the first time.

The aims of the exercise were several.  Maltese responders, from various national entities and private contractors, had the opportunity to exercise for the eventuality of a real spill, testing both the communication systems, the equipment and to make sure all roles and responsibilities of the personnel listed in the National Pollution Contingency Plan will be effective during an actual response.  Transport Malta took the opportunity to test the communication systems and equipment in the newly set up Emergency Control Centre (ECC) at the Port Operation Centre in Marsa and the new equipment provided by EMSA and other owned by the Authority and private contractors.

The following participated in this exercise:

• TM Units & Departments

• Armed Forces of Malta – Maritime Squadron/Ops Room

• Civil Protection Department 

• Malta Police

• Accident & Emergency Unit, Mater Dei Hospital

• Environmental Health Department

• Environment & Resources Authority

• Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture

• European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA)


• Tankship Management (EMSA chartered response vessel)

• Falzon Marine (EMSA chartered response vessel)

• Tug Malta Ltd

• Malta Maritime Pilots

• Port Logistics Operations

• Cassar Maritime Services

• OSRA Int

• Zammit Group

• Dept of Geosciences, UoM

• Partners and stakeholders of the CALYPSO SOUTH project

No pollution risk following vessel grounding in Qawra

No pollution risk following vessel grounding in Qawra 
Transport Malta’s maritime pollution response team, together with the civil protection and the  Police were on site since this morning and keep monitoring the small vessel, Hephaestus, a 60-metre tanker registered in Togo, that grounded early this morning at Qawra due to the inclement weather.  
All crew are safe onshore. The tanker had no cargo onboard and there are no pollution risks. The vessel has approx 4 cubic meters of fuel onboard but there is no risk of that seeping out. ERA officials are monitoring the site as well, to pre-empt any environmental damage.
The authorities are currently investigating the accident and planning a salvage operation that will be put in action as soon as weather conditions improve.

Monitoring Marsaxlokk Bay for possible contamination


Transport Malta is monitoring Marsaxlokk Bay for possible diesel contamination

Transport Malta officials are monitoring Marsaxlokk Bay for possible diesel contamination following yesterday’s diesel spill that was reported at around 1930hrs. The oil spill happened during loading operations on M/T Santa Maria at Has-Saptan Fuelling Dolphin. 

Transport Malta officers were dispatched on site to ensure that immediate action was taken by vessel operator to clean up. Booms were deployed and diesel spill was contained to minimise spread of oil. The clean up operation continued through the night.

Fortunately, due to prevailing wind conditions, no oil pollution was noticed along the coastline from Qajjenza to Pretty Bay.  Transport Malta is co-ordinating the clean up operation with the assistance of the Civil Protection Department personnel and equipment.  Clean up is still ongoing around the vessel and the area of the Dolphin.