Mystery Overturned vessel causes ‘disaster’ oil spill near Tobago

At least two vessels were involved in the oil spill incident that has been engaging the attention of multiple agencies in Trinidad and Tobago. Video footage and information have confirmed that the two vessels are a tugboat and a barge.

Investigations have revealed that the vessels appear to have been bound for Guyana. However, as it is reported by the Trinidad and Tobago coast guard (TTCG), the Guyanese authorities have confirmed that neither vessel arrived as anticipated.

At this stage it is not known whether any lives have been lost in the incident.

In recent days, a spill of black, oil deposits, was identified in the waters spreading from the Scarborough area to Lowlands in Tobago, posing a serious threat to Tobago’s biodiversity.

Mystery Overturned vessel causes ‘disaster’ oil spill near Tobago

The spill appeared to be emanating from a wrecked barge, which was discovered lodged on a reef in the vicinity.

The TTCG is also examining a video footage supplied by the Guyana coast guard of the barge, as it appeared to be sinking. The TTCG is using certain distinctive markings of the barge, to confirm its identity.

The TTCG has also confirmed that the barge was being towed by a tug, the Solo Creed, from Panama destined for Guyana, as the Ministry of National Security, government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago said in a media release on Thursday.

Satellite imagery also shows the Solo Creed towing an object on the February 4, as it is added by the ministry.

“The National coastal surveillance radar centre (NCSRC) was able to use this information to track the tug in Trinidad and Tobago waters, towing an object. The NCSRC eventually lost radar contact with both vessels. The TTCG has also confirmed that neither the tug, nor the barge, have entered Guyana waters,” reads the ministry’s statement.

Mystery Overturned vessel causes ‘disaster’ oil spill near Tobago

The authorities in Panama and Aruba have been contacted for photographs of the tugboat and the barge.

As it is revealed by the ministry, the Dutch authorities in Aruba, provided images of the tug towing the barge, and these images were used to confirm the identity of both vessels.