Nassau, Bahamas - The following is a Statement by the Ministry of Transport and Aviation on the oil spill in Freeport Harbour:
Sunday 20 January 2013, at approximately
5:06 am, the MT “Butterfly” was moored at BORCO’s Jetty No. 8 receiving bunker
(diesel fuel) from the bunker barge “Smit Inesita”, when sometime thereafter
oil was discharged into the marine environment. The discharge fell into the
water between the tanker and the barge. It was reported that approximately 210
gallons of diesel oil was discharged into the water.
ship’s oil spill plan was activated and the governmental authorities were subsequently
Anti-pollution equipment, materials and kits, such as containment booms,
absorbing pads, rolls, sawdust, absorbing mats and wilding pumps were deployed
in response to the oil being discharged in the marine environment.
was also rendered by BORCO and STATOIL providing additional containment booms
and other anti-pollution equipment, and materials, and kits. Moreover, STATOIL
further assisted by providing absorbing pads and were in a stand-by mode to
assist further if necessary.
Department is monitoring the response and conducted an aerial inspection of the
the aerial inspection,
small pockets of diesel were discovered. The Clean-up operation is on-going and
a team from the Port Department and the Department of Environment Health
Services will monitor all activities.
Ministry of Transport and Aviation has launched a complete investigation into
this incident to ascertain all the facts. All ships documentation and
procedures will be reviewed to ascertain the volume of oil discharged and to
determine the root cause of the incident.
If found to be appropriate in accordance with
the Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution) Act, sanctions will follow.
Government of The Bahamas remains in a state of readiness in dealing with oil
spills. The National Oil Spill Committee is meeting on a monthly basis. Additionally,
following the Eugenia incident in December 2012, a consultant from the Regional
Marine Pollution Emergency Information and Training Centre for the Wider
Caribbean Region (RAC/REMPETIC) met with Government officials and oil spill
committee members to review protocols and to proffer advice. The public is advised
that the report on the MSC Eugenia incident is being finalized and the findings
will be released shortly.
protection of the marine environment is crucial to the growth and development
of The Bahamas. The Ministry of Transport and Aviation advises all marine
operations to ensure that due diligence is being exercised in all facets of
their operations and to ensure that safety is never compromised. The pollution
of the marine environment will absolutely not be tolerated and where violations
are found penalties will be imposed.
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