Ship that strained ties to be towed from Gibraltar
Gibraltar authorities informed Spain this week that scrap-metal ship New Flame will be towed to an undisclosed location.11 July 2008
ALGECIRAS - Gibraltar authorities informed Spain this week that scrap-metal ship New Flame, which has been half-sunk and grounded for about 11 months off the coast of the British territory, will be towed to an undisclosed location.
The ship's owner, Titan Salvage Maritime, is presently carrying out work to transport the ship from Gibraltar.
The Panamanian-registered New Flame has strained relations between Gibraltar and Spain ever since the ship hit an oil tanker in August, causing an oil spill, polluting waters and beaches in the Algeciras area.
"The Spanish government has been informed in a timely manner over the Gibraltar government's plans to salvage [the ship] and tow it away," said a Foreign Ministry source.
The same source said that 12,000 tons of scrap metal still remain inside the New Flame's hold and that some 30,000 tons had already been recovered. Part of the scrap shipments have been sent to Lisbon.
The government has barred trucks transporting scrap metal from the New Flame from entering Spain. Madrid justified the measure on the grounds that the metal was being taken to a dealer that was not certified by the Environment Ministry.
[El Pais / C. Romaguera / Expatica]