West Indies Petroleum steps in to assist with oil spill

West Indies Petroleum stepped in on Tuesday to assist crew members of a Canadian ship recover roughly 3,000 litres of diesel oil from Jamaican waters.

The Jamaica Observer understands that an oil spill occurred at approximately 4:00 am on Tuesday at Reynold's Pier in Ocho Rios, St Ann, as the ship's crew carried out internal operations.

Major Luis Cheverria, West Indies Petroleum's group manger of health, safety, security and environment, told the Observer that the oil spill did not impact their operations but a team had to step in and assist as they, too, are stakeholders in the industry and it was in their best interest to ensure it was cleaned and that there was no environmental damage.

"About 3,000 litres was released accidentally. They responded to it but did not have sufficient response material. We learned of it about 7:00 am on Tuesday and we deployed our oil spill response team. The team did the assessment and found that the spill was contained to a large extent but they needed additional absorbent material to recover the oil properly from the sea. They needed around four bails of absorbent material which we assisted them with. We provided all our resources on stand by until the spill was totally cleaned up by midday and recovered. They kept it on their vessel," said Cheverria.

"Representatives from National Environment and Planning Agency attended the scene. The harbour master from Port Authority of Jamaica was also there and an inspector from MAJ (Maritime Authority of Jamaica) was also on the scene. We coordinated with them," he said.

BY JASON CROSS Observer staff reporter crossj@jamaicaobserver.com

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