Ministry of Energy: Hydrographic survey of wrecked barge completed

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The overturned Gulfstream barge 200m off Cove, Tobago. – Photo by Jaydn Sebro

THE Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries says the initial investigative hydrographic survey of the wreckage off the coast of the Cove Eco Industrial Park, Tobago, has been completed.

An overturned barge – the Gulfstream – has been lodged on a reef since February 7 and has been polluting Tobago’s south-western coast with what the Ministry of Energy has identified as bunker fuel. The Ministry of Planning recently noted that preliminary tests by the Institute of Marine Affairs revealed that the oily substance is diesel-like.

The oily substance has reached Grenadian waters and also Bonaire, according to a BBC article.

In a release on February 28, the energy ministry said the survey data conducted around the wreck collected water column data, multibeam bathymetry and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR).

It said the data collected from this survey would inform a three-dimensional wire frame map for imagery of the seabed and charts with localised water depth at the wreck.

“The survey will help identify any hazards and debris to safely allow for the support vessel to be mobilised to location and alongside the wreck,” the ministry said.

Simultaneously, the response team will begin the deployment of the NOFI Current Buster Technology, it added.

The NOFI Current Buster Technology is part of the high-speed oil containment system.