NA huge oil slick has washed up on the coast of the Caribbean state of Trinidad and Tobago after a mysterious shipwreck. The oil extends at least 15 kilometers from the island of Tobago, authorities said Saturday. Among other things, it affects the coral reef and several beaches of the island, which are very popular with tourists. According to the Ministry of Emergencies, more than a thousand volunteers were sent to clean the beaches from oil.
The oil appears to have come from a ship that capsized off Tobago's south coast on Wednesday and was washed ashore by waves. A ship carrying an unknown cargo overturned and ran aground on Cove Reef, the Trinidad & Tobago Guardian reports, citing local authorities. The accident appears mysterious: When the ship was spotted on Wednesday, it was flying an unidentified flag and making no distress signals. According to the Ministry of Emergencies, the team has not been found.
Trinidad and Tobago is very popular among foreign tourists because of its picturesque beaches. Tourism is one of the country's main sources of income. Especially nowadays, carnival celebrations attract many tourists. Tobago authorities have already urged visitors to avoid the area: “I would like to warn all fishermen, boat owners, jet skiers, swimmers and everyone else: please avoid the area as much as possible. Do not specifically sightsee or sail in the area. This is not an opportunity for sightseeing.”
According to the authorities, consumption of local fish is still safe despite the oil spill, as local fishermen's fishing grounds are far away from the oil and far enough away.