Oil Slick Threatens Three Ibiza Beaches

New oil leaks from the sunken merchant ship Don Pedro were discovered on Saturday, July 14 by divers. The vessel, which sunk on Wednesday, July 11, had already caused an oil slick by Thursday afternoon that these new leaks only worsened. Three beaches on Spain’s Balearic Island of Ibiza -- Talamanca, Figueretes, and Playa d’en Bossa -- were closed during cleanup operations.

En route to Valencia from Ibiza, the Don Pedro hit the small island Isla de Daus only one nautical mile from the Port of Ibiza on Wednesday, July 11. Carrying 50 tons of diesel oil and 150 tons of fuel oil, the ship took only half an hour to sink in the nearly 150-foot deep water. The Don Pedro started leaking fuel almost immediately.

By Thursday afternoon, the ship had caused an oil slick 0.5 miles wide and 3.5 miles long. Cleanup crews, sent from all different parts of Spain, worked tirelessly to clear the oil spill, with about 30 tons of the oil being collected by Saturday. About 11,480 feet of anti-contamination barriers were sent to the area to protect the coastline, which seemed to be work as only around 1,600 feet of the over 11-mile-long coastline was affected by the spill. Additionally, Spain’s Minister for Transport, Magdalena Alvarez, returned from an official visit to Uruguay in order to be involved in the cleanup.

The Playa d’en Bossa was reopened on Tuesday, while the Talamanca and Figueretes beaches were reopened to swimmers this morning. As of a July 18 press release from the City Council of Ibiza, “the works of recollection of the last remainders are continuing with specialized boats.” The Public Prosecutor of the Balearic Islands has already begun an investigation into the accident to determine the party responsible for the damages.