NO sooner had the Balearic and central government claimed on Friday evening that the Ibiza oil slick was under control and that it would soon be safe to go back in the water, divers found two more leaks in the sunken cargo ship's fuel tanks and Greenpeace branded the clean-uo operation a fiasco.
Authorities reported yesterday that they had discovered new two fuel leaks off Ibiza where three beaches remained closed to the public after the midweek oil spill caused by the sinking of the cargo ship Don Pedro which hit an islet in the mouth of Ibiza harbour.
Maritime rescue services director Pilar Tejo said a further leak of hydraulic oil had also emerged from the Don Pedro, a 145-metre (476-foot) freighter transporting 100 tonnes of fuel oil and 50 of diesel.
Tejo added that a new slick some 50 metres (150 feet) long was closing in on the Ses Salines natural park although double protective booms were in place, and said a private firm had been tasked with the urgent extraction of oil remaining in the Don Pedro, which was also carrying trucks and other cargo.
Tejo added that poor sea conditions were complicating the clean up operation and pushing the slick back towards the island's south east coast.
Yesterday, divers continued plugging holes in the hull of the vessel, resting some 15 metres (45 feet) below the surface.
On Friday, Spanish Transport Minister Magdalena Alvarez insisted the situation was under control with a trio of leaks plugged and calculated the beaches affected should be cleaned up within days. However, as Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior reached the scene, the environmental group said the situation is a disaster and that the island's lack of sufficient resources to respond to such an incident has meant that a small accident is having a major impact. Head of Greenpeace's marine department, María José Caballero, told the media on board the Rainbow Warrior that the primary task should be emptying the fuel tanks on board the sunken cargo ship. This accident has highlighted the short comings of the Balearics' with regards to responding to a maritime accident. The new leaks have got to be sealed as quickly as possible, all the fuel removed as fast as possible and Ibiza given sufficient resources to handle the situation properly, Cabellero said. And under now circumstance should the ship be floated until her tanks are completely empty, she added.
Greenpeace inspectors said yesterday that eight kilometres of coast are now affected.
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