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Ship Capsizes In Trinidad And Tobago, Sparking Massive Oil Spills

Ship capsizes in Trinidad and Tobago, sparking massive oil spills that emergency crews in Trinidad and Tobago are urgently attempting to contain. This incident has cast a shadow over Carnival tourism, with the spill remaining "not under control" as of Sunday, according to Prime Minister Keith Rowley.

Paula M. Graham
Feb 12, 20241645 Shares32904 Views
Ship capsizes in Trinidad and Tobago, sparking massive oil spillsthat emergency crews in Trinidad and Tobago are urgently attempting to contain. This incident has cast a shadow over Carnival tourism, with the spill remaining "not under control" as of Sunday, according to Prime Minister Keith Rowley.
The country is now facing a national emergency due to the ongoing cleanup efforts. The mysterious vessel overturned last Wednesday in the waters around the Caribbean island without making any emergency calls and with no apparent crew or clear ownership information.
On Sunday, Rowley declared a national emergency as the oil leakage from the vessel began to impact nearly 10 miles of coastline.
"Cleaning and restoration can only begin as soon as we have the situation under control. Right now the situation is not under control," the prime minister told journalists.
Divers have been unable to successfully stop the leak on their own. Since Thursday, hundreds of volunteers have been working tirelessly to contain the spread of the oil, and the administration has been making a call for more assistance. Several pictures and videos that were distributed by the government show teams working late into the night on Sunday.
The leakage has caused harm to a reef and Atlantic shorelines, leading residents of Lambeau village to be advised to wear masks or consider temporary relocation. The government has also shared satellite images on social media illustrating the impacted areas.
"The satellite imagery reveals a distinctive silver-like slick emanating from the overturned wrecked vessel. Additionally, there are noticeable streaks of a thick, black-like substance accompanying the spill," the post says.
The oil spill coincides with the peak of Carnival season, posing a significant threat to the tourist industry, which is vital to the economy of the dual-island nation. The extent of the impact on tourism remains uncertain.
Despite the spill, a cruise ship carrying 3,000 passengers arrived in Tobago on Sunday. Rowley suggested that the mystery vessel could have been engaged in illicit activities, stating, "We don't know who it belongs to. We have no idea where it came from, and we also don't know all that it contains."
Divers observed the name "Gulfstream" on the vessel's side and identified a cable, hinting it might have been in the process of being towed. The island's Emergency Management Agency confirmed no signs of life aboard the 330-foot vessel and shared numerous images and videos on social media documenting the efforts to contain and clean up the oil spill.
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