A Rush to Contain the Massive Oil Spill in Exuma
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Nearly 30,000 gallons of oil spilled in oceans surrounding Exuma, authorities said.
The environmental disaster is believed to have occurred overnight Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper reported on Wednesday.
The Arabian vessel contracted for Sun Oil was offloading fuel to Bahamas Power and Light in George Town, Exuma when the spilling occurred, Cooper told the Nassau Guardian.
How authorities are responding
Cooper said the oil is now contained in the bay area of the Exuma Sailing Club.
He said the relevant ministries have been aware and have deployed officials to deal with the matter.
What’s the impact of the oil spill?
Officials have not yet reported on the damage to the environment and the marine animals, but oil spills kill, poison, and suffocate sea creatures. Research indicates that toxic chemicals remain in the ocean for years and can sink to the floor, also poisoning the sediments.
Its severity on the environment depends on the amount of oil spilled, type and weight of the oil, location of the spill, species of wildlife in the area, timing of breeding cycles, seasonal migrations, and the weather at sea during and after the oil spill.
The big picture
In 2018, 3,800 gallons of diesel oil leaked into the waters at Emerald Bay Marina in Exuma reportedly from two tanks stationed in the marina.
Eye Witness News reported that one of the tanks was owned by Shell Oil and the second tank belonged to Emerald Bay Marina.
It was reportedly cleaned up with minimal impact on the environment.
Photo credits: The Nassau Guardian, Reno Curling Photography and Blaze 98.3 FM Exuma