As Carnival celebrations moved into high gear this weekend, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley will this morning tour areas impacted by the Tobago oil spill disaster. Combined efforts remain underway to contain the emergency and mitigate increasing damage to marine life and beaches, a release from the Office of the Prime Minister announced yesterday that Dr. Rowley will “lead a ministerial team (today) to tour the disaster areas in Tobago impacted by the oil spill”.
The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) had, up to yesterday, categorised the event as a “Tier Two” spill and was being assisted by a number of industrial and disaster experts. TEMA was up to late yesterday, monitoring efforts to deploy booms aimed at containing the spill. Mangroves along the Magdalena Grand have been affected, as well as the boardwalk at Tobago Plantations.
Ministers Stuart Young and Rohan Sinnanan are also in Tobago working with the THA to mitigate and contain the spill. Minister Young has deployed the resources of Heritage petroleum. Heritage Petroleum Company Ltd has become the latest industrial expert to join mitigation efforts in Tobago. The company has “engaged its Incident Management Team (IMT), Business Support Team (BST) and Wildlife Rescue Team (WRT) towards this end”.
The statement from the OPM also said the Prime minister will also host a news conference at 12.30 p.m., at the Office of the Prime Minister at the Central Administrative Services Tobago (CAST), Orange Hill Road, Scarborough.
It’s now been six days after a seemingly unoccupied oil products tanker called the Gulfstream was found spewing oil-like deposits off the coast of Canoe Bay near the Cove Eco-Industrial and Business Park, the mess has impacted reefs and the coast from Rockley Bay to Scarborough and much of Tobago’s southwestern coastline.
The disaster struck just days ahead of Carnival Monday and Tuesday and while Tobago was already welcoming domestic and other tourists, with the effects of the oil spill being seen on several beaches, including those accessed by guests of the Magdalena Grand Resort and other areas in Tobago.