ST. EUSTATIUS–An oil slick covered an area of approximately four square kilometres in the waters of St. Eustatius early Saturday morning, caused by a ruptured hose at NuStar Statia Terminal’s docking facility. The rupture resulted in a spill of approximately two metric tons of heavy fuel oil in Tumbling
Down Dick Bay.
Island Governor Gerald Berkel, who is also Chairman of the Disaster Committee, made a statement to the press about what had transpired and said the arbour Master received a report of an oil spill in the territorial waters of St. Eustatius at 4:45am. At fi rst light, a local team consisting of harbour personnel, the Police Department, Shipping Inspectorate and St. Eustatius National Parks were mobilised to survey the spill area.
The assistance of the Coast Guard was also requested and the cutter Poema was deployed to assist with surveying the site and ascertaining the overall size, location and direction of the spill. The Coast Guard surveillance Dash 8aircraft joined the operation at 1:00pm, and assisted in monitoring the movement of the spill and the surrounding areas. Containment activities were initiated under coordination of the local authorities in collaboration with NuStar and with support ofthe Department of Waterways in The Netherlands (Rijkwaterstaat), Governor Berkel stated. “All available assets were mobilised concentrating efforts on containment and cleanup,” the governor said.
After investigating several suspected ships, among which was Danish tanker Tasing Swan which had been near the oil slick, the source of the spill was determined to be a ruptured hose located at NuStar’s docking facility. “Favourable weather conditions continue to facilitate containment and cleanup operations while the investigation into the incident continues,” said Berkel.
The contamination has been reported to the Department of Waterways, the authority responsible for maritime disasters in the Caribbean Netherlands.
The department will be handling this case in cooperation with the Prosecutor’s Office and the local authorities.
Source: The Daily herald, October 22, 2012
The RCN issued the following press release:
Oil Spill on St.Eustatius October 20th 2012
On Saturday Morning October 20th 4.45am the harbor master received a report of an oil spill in the territorial waters of St.Eustatius. At first light the local team consisting of harbor, police, shipping inspectorate and Stenapa were mobilized to survey the spill area.
The assistance of the coastguard was requested, and the cutter puma was deployed to assist with surveying of the site and ascertaining the overall size, location and direction of the spill. The coastguard surveillance aircraft joined the operation at 13:00 and assisted in monitoring movement of the spill and surrounding areas. The slick covered an area of approximately four square kilometers. In collaboration with Nustar under the coordination of the local authorities supported by Rijkwaterstaat Nederlands (RWS) the containment activities were initiated and all available assets were mobilized, concentrating efforts on containment and cleanup. After investigating several suspect ships the source of the spill was determined to be a ruptured hose located at Nustar docking facility. This rupture resulted in a spill of approximately 2 metric tons of heavy fuel oil. Favorable weather conditions continue to facilitate containment and cleanup operations while the investigation into the incident continues.
Chairman Disaster Committee