A SHIPWRECK removal company has begun removing the cranes from the bulk carrier stranded off the coast of Gibraltar since August.

The crane barge that arrived from Suriname has begun work on the slow dismantling of the OS 35 wreck before removing the metal beams that make up its cargo.

The Koole salvage company removed two crane arms and was working on two more to facilitate access to the cargo holds.

The next phase of transporting the cargo was to begin this week.

Another barge and a tugboat are still moored in Brest, France, for shelter from stormy seas.

But a window of better weather in the next few days could give the pair a chance to sail to the Rock.

Port Captain John Ghio said: “Works continue to progress 24 hours a day in an appropriate and timely manner to ensure that the clean-up operation is carried out with the greatest possible diligence.

“It is not ideal for some assets to remain stuck in France due to bad weather, but hopefully in the next few days there will be an opportunity for the barges to start their journey to Gibraltar.

“Once those assets are on site, we will continue to follow the plan that will see the complete removal of OS35 during May of this year.”

OS 35 collided with another ship while leaving the Bay of Gibraltar in late August.

He suffered a 10 meter cut to his hull which forced him to run aground 700 meters from Catalan Bay.

Oil gushing from its severed tanks contaminated the surrounding beaches.

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By yjawq

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