(CMR) Authorities in Trinidad & Tobago are mobilizing resources to contain a possible environmental disaster after a supply vessel carrying 900 barrels of diesel fuel capsized and sank in the Gulf of Paria on Wednesday, 30 November.
According to the Maritime Executive, Trinidad's Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries announced that efforts are underway to deal with the possibility of an oil spill after the Liftboat Daniela, which was located in the Heritage Petroleum Company's North Field, capsized and sank.
Six crew members who were on board the supply vessel at the time of the incident were all removed safely and taken for medical evaluation.
The vessel, owned by Trinity Liftboat Services Limited, was reportedly attempting to demobilize from its location and, in the process, capsized and sank to the seafloor.
According to a statement from the vessel's owner, Trinity Group of Companies, the lifeboat was engaged in routine operations when it began developing a list. The liftboat capsized and sank within an hour of the captain's decision to abandon ship.
The Ministry of Energy said response efforts were being led by the owner of the vessel while it monitors the situation. The Environmental Management Authority, Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard, Maritime Services Division, and Heritage Petroleum will assist as necessary.
“The focus is now on salvage and ensuring that during this process, there are no oil spills. There are about 900 barrels of diesel fuel on board the vessel; oil spill response equipment is on standby in the event a spill response is required,” The Ministry said in a statement.
Heritage Petroleum, Trinidad & Tobago's newest state-owned oil and gas company that is focused on exploration, development, production, and marketing of crude oil, is the operator of the North Field in the Gulf of Paria.