Minor diesel sheen from grounded vessel in Qawra

The salvage contractor is deploying oil spill equipment to contain a minor diesel sheen that seeped out from the vessel Hephaestus earlier today.

Transport Malta and ERA personnel have been monitoring the vessel since it ran aground and are following the situation closely. The vessel does not contain any heavy oil and thus there is no real risk of pollution. Water has reached a breach in the hull and an amount of old diesel seeped out from within. Even though the sheen may look dramatic, there is no cause for alarm as the sheen remains on the surface of the water and will evaporate slowly.

The 4 cubic metres of fuel, mentioned in earlier reports, remain untouched. The adverse weather conditions are unfortunately making it impossible to salvage the ship at this point in time, however, if the weather forecast remains as is, the contractor will start pumping out the oils remaining on the ship tomorrow.

The vessel Hephaestus, a 60-metre tanker registered in Togo ran aground in Qawra on Sunday due to the inclement weather.