Mysterious Capsized Cargo Ship Causes Oil Spill Emergency in Tobago

Authorities on the Caribbean island of Tobago are scrambling to clean up a growing oil spill. While also investigating a mysterious overturned ship that is causing a growing environmental disaster. The southwestern tip of the island has been contaminated by oil. And warnings have been raised that it could spread further. As oil continues to strand, a major cleanup operation has begun. While the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard investigates the vessel. The government has now classified the disaster as a Level 2 disaster, with the Tobago Emergency Management Authority (TEMA). The Department of Environmental Management, and other government agencies coordinating efforts.

It was predicted to be a Level III disaster by  Thursday evening or early  Friday. The incident began on Wednesday, February 7, when authorities received a report of a capsized vessel. They noted that there were no distress calls, and subsequent searches. Failed to identify the crew or those who escaped from the sinking ship. Oil from the ships soon began to reach the shore. Divers were dispatched to investigate and identify the vessel. Which was visually reported to be a Gulfstream, but so far, no registration information could be determined. Attempts to access a possible rear license plate were thwarted by an ongoing oil leak.

Identification

The ship’s display name does not match the international ship registration. They estimate the length of the ship to be 330 feet (100 meters) and assume that she transported timber and sand. Divers reported that nearby coral reefs also appeared to be damaged and that part of the ship’s superstructure may have come off and lies in the debris field. Further searches of the wreckage were planned, but no signs of life were found on board. The ship is believed to have been abandoned and left to sink.

Damage evidence suggests the ship may have drifted into the bay from the south and dragged along the ocean floor before coming to a stop. Some observers said they had seen the ship as of Tuesday. Crews reported working throughout the day and into the night Thursday, focusing on containment and deploying protective barriers. They report there is no oil at Scarborough Port so far, although inspections are underway to confirm suspicions that the ship is leaking diesel oil. Sixty-seven people are reportedly working to clean up oil along Tobago’s coast as government officials warn people to stay away from southwest Tobago. One big concern is that the oil could contaminate fish and food supplies.

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