Mystery Overturned vessel causes ‘disaster’ oil spill near Tobago

An oil-like substance has been emanating from an overturned vessel in the vicinity of the waters off the coast off Cove Eco Industrial and Business Park, Tobago.

Oil from the vessel has reached the shoreline, leading to the collection of samples for fingerprinting in order to determine the origin of the oil.

The authorities, which received reports of the capsized vessel on February 7th, are urgently responding to clean up the oil spill that is quickly growing.

The officials say that the ship is believed to be the “Gulfstream” that it was possibly carrying lumber and sand, but the vessel’s identity has not been confirmed.

The Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) has also received information of suspected oil deposits off the coast of Roxborough and Belle Garden. The agency reported that samples will be collected to determine the source of the deposits.

It also advises, for safety reasons, fisherfolk and beach goers to stay clear of the area extending from Rockly Bay to Canoe Bay.

The Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard is actively investigating the incident, and a massive cleanup effort was launched as the oil continues to wash ashore.

The Tobago Emergency Operations Centre (TEOC) has been activated at Level 2 (Orange), indicating that national assistance has been sought.

Oil Spill Response Equipment as well as two vessels have been deployed, with divers, to the source area.

Mystery Overturned vessel causes ‘disaster’ oil spill near Tobago

TEMA stated in a press release that they believed the ship to be the “Gulfstream” that it was possibly carrying lumber and sand. They stated that the vessel’s identity has not been confirmed as it is only visually identified, and that the vessel’s registration number is unknown.

The superstructure of the vessel detached from the ship and may lie in the debris field. As it is reported, until now there have been no visible signs of human life or remains.

Furthermore, leakage has been visibly observed as being an oil-like substance, however samples have been collected by the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) and sent for further testing to confirm the exact composition.

Also, divers have noticed damage to reef, but the extent is to be ascertained.