NASSAU – The Ministry of Transport and Aviation says a Haitian “sloop” confiscated during a recent drug enforcement operation had sunk in the harbour of Inagua yesterday, spilling more than 200 gallons of a mixture of oil and diesel fuel into the water.
It said that incident occurred during the night when the 75-foot wooden vessel sank in adverse weather conditions.
“The amount of fuel spilled is approximately 220 gallons of a mixture of oil and diesel fuel,” the statement said, noting that “this incident in Inagua, our southern most island highlights the importance of now ensuring that islands are strategically provided with oil spill response materials and equipment throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and also that protocols are put in place for decommissioning fuel from arrested vessels in similar circumstances”.
The Ministry of Transport and Aviation said it is presently reviewing the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan for the The Bahamas with a view to strategically positioning oil spill equipment throughout the country.
It said that the clean-up efforts are continuing and that an investigation has been launched by the relevant authorities.
This is the third oil spill reported in the Bahamas in the past two months.
Last month, the authorities said they were able to contain a leak from a Mediterranean Shipping Company vessel, The Eugenia, after it left the Freeport harbour with an estimated 3,000 barrels of oil on board. (Observer)