News bulletin OLB, 30th of May : actual situation effect oil spill
Since Friday 26th of may 2017 some tar balls were detected in the beaches of Sorobon and Lac. This is the result of an oil spill in the area of Trinidad. The substance has reached the beaches of Bonaire in the form of a tar spots. Most spots are not bigger than 15 cm.
A work team consisting of the government, Stinapa and Selibon cleaned the affected areas and beaches. The most affected areas were Lac, Sorobon, Washinkemba. These beaches are located on the east side of the island. There has been no report of affected beaches on the west side of the island.
During the following days the beaches will be monitored on a daily basis and these reports will be communicated through the news bulletin.
The government has issued several press releases to inform the public to not touch the substance as it might be harmful to your skin. The substance should be removed with baby oil, cooking oil or some form of oil mixture. It cannot be removed with soap or alcohol.
If you detect this tar on the sand, the sea or sea an animal covered with this, please inform the authorities or Stinapa through the number +599 717 8444.
The Port Office has immediately taken the necessary measures
On May 16th, STINAPA informed the Port Office of oil slicks which washed up on the beaches of the archipelago Los Roques that are at a distance of about 170 km from the East coast of Bonaire. The origin is an oil leak that took place on April 23rd in Trinidad & Tobago.
The coast guard, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment and the Port Offices of Aruba and Curacao were immediately notified. At the same time the authorities on Bonaire and other departments of the Openbare Lichaam Bonaire were informed of the situation.
Precautions were taken because there is a possibility that the oil slicks could reach Bonaire, taking into account the proximity of Los Roques. The harbour master has teamed up with the coast guard in taking action to examine the area from an airplane and a ' cutter ' to establish whether there are oil stains coming in the direction of Bonaire.
After consultation with the Department of public works it was informed that the oil that is already a month in sea will change and will form into tar balls. Tar balls are formed by crude oil provided by the affected sea water. They are hard to see from above the ocean surface, because they hover just below sea level.
The Bonaire Island Government represented by the harbour master and his team, the Coast Guard and STINAPA will continue to monitor the situation. STINAPA has the needed materials to clean the beaches. Which are gloves, special protective clothing for the volunteers, a piece of cloth to clean up the oil with and forks so that the dirty cloth shouldn’t be touched. So far the pieces are relatively small tar. They are not bigger than 15 cm.
It's hard to avoid more oil spills to reach our coast. The Bonaire Island Government wants everyone who sees oil stains in the sea off the coast of Bonaire to warn STINAPA or the Port Office. Please leave the cleaning of this to the volunteers who have suitable materials. If you would like to volunteer please contact STINAPA or the Port Office.
The Port Office has teamed up with STINAPA and have investigated the area and found out that the area from Sorobon until the Willemstoren (lighthouse) is polluted. The area is large, there are places where the pieces tar are far apart and there are places where they are closer to each other. The cleaning of this will take a lot of time. The pieces tar on the rocks one can let dry itself, but the pieces in the water and on the beach must be removed. In a subsequent press release, we make the planned cleaning action known.