The oil spill is surrounded by mysteries: the crew of an illegal ghost ship has disappeared without a trace

The oil spill is surrounded by mysteries: the crew of an illegal ghost ship has disappeared without a trace

The mystery began last week. The hundred-meter-long ship capsized a few kilometers off the coast of Tobago. But when the Coast Guard arrived at the disaster site, they did not find any crew members there.

All that is then visible is a rapidly growing oil stain, as shown in the images below:

The leak turned out to be so large that President Keith Rowley declared a state of emergency.

The secret of the ghost ship

According to the government, the cleanup work will take a long time. But a week after the disaster, an investigation has now begun into the ship itself. The authorities have not yet been able to identify that ship.

What we seem to know: The name of the ship. Divers have seen the Gulf Stream on board the ship. Ships also usually have an international registration number by which they can be tracked. This number was not found on this ship.

“Illegal acts”

according to Bellingcat research platform The ship was last seen two years ago. After that, it will not send any further signals. According to Bellingcat, this often happens when ships want to keep the origin and destination of the goods they are transporting unclear.

Bellingcat reports that these types of “ghost ships” are being used to illegally transport oil from countries under international sanctions, such as neighboring Venezuela. Although it has not yet been proven that the ship was used for this purpose, President Rowley also suspects that the Gulfstream ship was used for this purpose. “Illegal acts”.

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No sign of life

According to the Trinidad government, the ship was en route from Panama to Guyana. But who owns the ship remains a mystery. And what is not entirely clear: where did the ship's crew go?

Obviously, no distress call was issued from the ship when it capsized. Emergency services found no signs of life when they arrived at the ship and no bodies were found.

Many options are kept open. The bodies may have washed out to sea. Another theory: The crew will now be on the same island unnoticed. For this they had to swim more than ten kilometers.

Beach protection

The same shipping disaster could have serious consequences for Trinidad and Tobago. Oil threatens the island's white beaches and coral reefs. In addition to the significant environmental consequences that could result from this, they constitute important tourist attractions for the island. Tourism in particular plays a crucial role in the economy.

Reverse BBC Rowley announced this weekend that hundreds of volunteers are now working to clean the beaches as much as possible. In addition, efforts are also being made to keep oil away from the west coast of the island, where most of the tourist attractions are located.

Divers are said to be still trying to close the leak in the ship itself.

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