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International News: Trinidad and Tobago hit by mystery ship oil spill

Posted: Monday, February 12, 2024. 1:02 pm CST.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images/BBC

By Aaron Humes: Trinidad and Tobago is considering declaring a national emergency over a huge oil spill covering nine miles of Tobago’s south-western coast, the BBC reports.

The spill emanated from a ship that ran aground and overturned this week, affecting some of the Caribbean island’s pristine beaches.

Some 1,000 volunteers have now joined government staff to clean up the spill.

Divers have been trying to isolate the leak from the vessel, which was abandoned by its crew.

Farley Augustine, the chief secretary of the island of Tobago, on Saturday, said the government may designate the accident a Level 3 disaster, the highest. The spill is currently Level 2, meaning the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management believes that the country can deal with the spill.

A national emergency is declared when local resources become “overwhelmed” and international assistance is needed.

The ship – identified only as The Gulfstream – capsized last Wednesday off the coast of the Cove Eco-Industrial Estate. No emergency calls were made.

The incident comes just days before Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival celebrations, which are an important source of income for its economy.


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