The Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) is more concerned about the state of the oil tanker Nabarima – which is located in the Gulf of Paria – after receiving more pictures of the vessel on Tuesday.
FFOS general secretary Gary Aboud said the pictures taken by Venezuelans on Tuesday were sent to him.
The picture showed the vessel- which is laden with 1.3m barrels of oil – sitting deeper in the water.
Since July the vessel has been a source of concern as a potential environmental disaster. At that time it was reportedly taking on water, had several leaks and was listing to the right.
Venezuelan state-owned PDVSA oil company which operates the vessel assured the issues were fixed and it was stable.
After international news reports on the vessel’s problems Government decided to get independent verification on its status.
An inspection team comprising Coast Guard, Energy Ministry, Institute of Marine Affairs and other officials were organized to complete an inspection of the vessel in September.
Permission is needed by TT to enter Venezuelan jurisdiction.
But the Foreign Affairs Ministry which organised the mission was told by Venezuela authorities the visit could not be done before October 20.
On September 1, FFOS received information that the Venezuelan Coast Guard did a “visual inspection” of the vessel that day and crew reported the situation on board “was OK”.
In that picture, the vessel appeared to be levelled.
But the latest picture (above) Aboud added. “….shows the Nabarima is now dangerously close to capsizing and this new evidence suggests impending disaster. “
Yesterday the ministry added, “ In response to repeated and consistent effort by Government to gain access to inspect the vessel, the Venezuelan Government has indicated that their permission will only be granted to our inspection team after October 20.”
However, Aboud has asked if FFOS has to “endanger our lives and charter a boat to view the Nabarima ourselves.”