The oil spill caused by the shipwreck off the coast of Tobago has resulted in a national crisis for Trinidad and Tobago. Over 15km of the country’s coastline has been damaged, including its pristine beaches. In response to the disaster, the government is considering declaring a national emergency to manage the situation effectively.
Since the accident, over 1,000 volunteers have joined forces with government staff in cleanup efforts, while divers have been working tirelessly to contain the leak from the abandoned vessel. The chief secretary of Tobago, Farley Augustine, has stated that the government may designate the accident a Level 3 disaster, which is the highest level.
As of now, the spill is categorized as a Level 2 disaster according to the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management. However, there is a possibility that it could escalate to a Level 3 disaster, requiring international assistance.
The shipwreck known as The Gulfstream capsized off Tobago’s Cove Eco-Industrial Estate without issuing any emergency calls. This unfortunate incident has occurred just before Trinidad and Tobago’s annual carnival celebrations, which are an essential source of revenue for its economy.