A ‘national emergency’ is how Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley described the oil spill in Tobago as clean up and containment efforts continued. The Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley on Sunday toured the disaster areas impacted by the oil spill in Tobago together with
Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Farley Augustine, Minister of Energy and Energy Industries Stuart Young, Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan and officials from the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA).
Chairing a press conference following the tour, Dr Rowley alongside the THA Chief Secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister – Central Administrative Services Tobago, where they provided an update on the situation. The Prime Minister committed to providing the necessary support to the THA.
The Chief secretary reported that booms were successfully installed in the vicinity of the Gulfstream vessel, which allowed the inter-island ferry service and cruise ship to operate without disruption.
Augustine said: “Containing is important. If we had not contained it, it means it could have drifted further east and further west. Containment is what has allowed for us to keep it within a specific radius.” He also said secondary booms will also be deployed.
The chief secretary added the vessel remains officially unidentified and efforts are continuing to identify the name and owner: “Notwithstanding using remote operated vessels, we have not been successful in identifying an IMO number. The next task is to use infrared to more of less identify structure of the vessel and to see what is contained therein.”
The Prime Minister restated the support of central government through the Ministry of Energy, and in the context of the 2013 Oil spill contingency plan, which had been activated.