Oil Spill In La Brea Trinidad and Tobago

boat covered in oilIMG_8413During mid December, 2013 the community of La Brea, nestled in the Oil Belt of the South side of the island of Trinidad and Tobago, experienced the effects of an oil spill. Oil washed upon the shores of at least three (3) of its beaches including Queens Beach, affectionately called the Coffee. The source of the spill is reported to be the State Owned Company, Petrotrin.

Imagefingerprint, decided to visit the area and thanks to Comrade Cecil Nurse, who provided transportation, the trip was possible. Comrade Nurse, who was also an excellent tour guide, is seen in one of the photographs with my mom who also made the trip. We found that, three (3) weeks after the spill the residents have not been relocated and are still living in and breathing toxic fumes. The high tides bring with them, dead sea creatures and the accompanying stench. One resident said she is diabetic and because of the sometimes late meals provided by the company and the inappropriate diet for her condition, she has experienced hell. The residents were advised not to use stoves or light any fires because of the gas in the atmosphere.

Another resident said his eyes were constantly burning and he has developed a cough which was evident. The power washing of the beach particularly on windy days, makes the situation worse he said, while pointing to the exterior of his home which was covered in particles of oil. While some fishermen have been compensated, as their lively hoods have come to zero, many more residents affected economically have no assurance that they will receive compensation.

I hope these photos do the story justice. Beach Sigh IMG_8303

big truck and tank IMG_8440

birds on a pipe lineIMG_8333

boat and trash IMG_8415

boat covered in oilIMG_8413

boat with moss IMG_8386

boat with oil IMG_8300

boots and powerwasherIMG_8348

boots IMG_8347

boots power washerclose upIMG_8349

boy on trysicle IMG_8373

children at play IMG_8392

clean up crew arriving IMG_8421


clothes on the lineIMG_8329



crane and oil tanks IMG_8434

croped beach area IMG_8334

despair on residents face IMG_8391

dog eating fish IMG_8485

dog with bone IMG_8431

equipment on site IMG_8407

Fisherman net IMG_8305

gas measuring equipment IMG_8432

good nets IMG_8328

hose powerwashingIMG_8346

Ma taking a seatIMG_8339


man with breafcase IMG_8417

measuring equipment IMG_8416

oil boat IMG_8384

oil on branch IMG_8307

oil on roots MG_8309

oil on stone IMG_8336

oil on the rocks IMG_8312

oil rig IMG_8383

oily tree roots IMG_8335

old houseIMG_8289

orange boat IMG_8385

petrotrin police IMG_8370

powerwasher half shot IMG_8358

powerwasher restingIMG_8356

powerwasher with boat IMG_8351


powerwashing the beach IMG_8345

powerwasing beach IMG_8343

quite shteet IMG_8399

short branchesIMG_8324

three trunk with oil IMG_8296

truck and shovels IMG_8422

two workers cleaning up the beachIMG_8344

tyre IMG_8426

vultures IMG_8516

white border to stop oil IMG_8294

With logo IMG_8345

worker bent IMG_8350

workers on big truck with tanks IMG_8435

workers ontop of a tank IMG_8438

workers under a tent IMG_8444

cleaner up crew arrives IMG_8096

cleanerup crew arrives IMG_8094

community center IMG_8092

elderly resident IMG_8077


ma and comrade cecil IMG_8081

man climbing down the truck IMG_8097

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