A team of inspectors, inclusive of members from the Coast Guard, Maritime Services Division, Energy Ministry and Institute of Marine Affairs, are expected to leave this morning (Tuesday 20 October), for the Gulf of Paria, to finally assess the troubled Venezuelan oil tanker, FSO Nabarima.
Minister of Caricom and Foreign Affairs Dr Amery Browne confirmed the visit on Monday afternoon.
TT was granted access to board the vessel to determine its status, after it was reported that it was sinking and posed an immediate threat to the marine environment.
The Nabarima, which has been damaged since approximately July, is loaded with nearly 1.3 million barrels of crude oil.
Browne said, “The objective is to emerge with a report based on data and scientific observations focused on the safety and stability of the vessel and an assessment of any potential risk of environmental damage.”
He said although the ship is Venezuelan and is in Venezuelan waters, the TT government has been “consistently using all available diplomatic channels” to press for the inspection on behalf of many concerned people in TT, “and as part of our commitment to do everything in our power to help safeguard the marine environment.”
Browne said the next steps would be guided by the report of the inspection team.