The Entire Caribbean Is At Risk Of Environmental Catastrophe - Stab Mag

The Entire Caribbean Is At Risk Of Environmental Catastrophe

FSO Nabarima is tilted at a dangerous angle with up to 80 million gallons of oil aboard.

Words by Zack Raffin

This past week, the FSO (Floating Storage and Offloading vessel) known as Nabarima has been seen listing (nautical term for “tilting”) at an alarming angle in the Caribbean Gulf of Paria. 

Situated between the coastlines of Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago, the vessel—which is co-owned by the Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and Italian oil giant Eni Spa—is stationed specifically to store crude oil for processing and is currently holding an estimated 1.3 million barrels of the stuff (equalling up to 80 million gallons).

The events leading to this situation extend beyond this past week. In January of 2019, the United States levied sanctions upon PDVSA, citing the corruption of Venezuela’s infamous socialist leader Nicolas Maduro directly. Maduro is, objectively speaking, a massive piece of shit. The UN’s panel of independent analysts have accused his administration of crimes against humanity including (but not limited to) “extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions” using techniques such as “genitial mutilation and electric shocks”. Ninety-percent of the country lives below the poverty line and upwards of 4 million Venezuelans have had to flee their homes as a result of food shortages. The PDVSA has long been one of the ways corrupt Venezuelan officials have siphoned money from the hands of Venezuelan citizens directly into their own pockets.

Now, what does this have to do with Nabarima? Upon hearing of the sanctions, the PDVSA instructed crew members disembark, leaving the vessel anchored in place for the past 20+ months. This leads us to today, where local non-profit Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFSO), who represent upwards of 50,000 local fishermen, are calling for a National State of Emergency.

Most reading this will remember Deepwater Horizon, the offshore oil rig owned by BP that spilled roughly 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico back in 2010. To put the situation with Nabarima into context, that spill ravaged roughly 16,000 miles of coastline up to 1,300 miles away. Trinidad and Tobago sits merely 206 miles from Barbados and 631 miles from Puerto Rico, with a slew of beautiful, biologically diverse islands and ecosystems in between. These islands are also homes to waves like Gas Chambers, Mount Irvine, and the below Soup Bowls. 

Simply put, the environmental and economic effects of Nabarima tipping over would be catastrophic. The Carribbean Sea is home to thousands of species of birds and wildlife. It’s this natural beauty that results in some of these islands’ GDPs being comprised of up to 30% tourism. BP paid $18.7 Billion for Deepwater Horizon in what is the largest settlement in U.S. history. 

As of today, an examination crew is supposedly being granted access to Nabarima, despite the crew arriving on October 16th. We will update this bizarre and potentially catastrophic story as more information becomes available. As always, it’s the region’s entirely innocent socio-economically disadvantaged communities and native wildlife who will be left most affected by actions rooted in corruption and greed. 

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Post-career blues: mental illness, substance abuse and World Tour surfing.

Jed Smith explores the vortex of drugs, decadence and poor mental health plaguing pro surfing's…

Comments

A Game Of S-U-R-F At BSR

Evan Geiselman and Kevin Schulz face off on the Sissy Sauce.

Comments

Surfer Of The Year 2020: Michael Ciaramella, Selema Masekela, Ian Crane, Nathan Fletcher, And Jack Robinson

7 days down. 3 more to go.

Comments

The Bloody History of Australia’s Best Waves

Surfing and genocide collide at some of Oz’s most iconic spots.

Comments

Is this the Best Team in Surfing?

Judge for yourself in their 2020 reel.

Comments

Surfer Of The Year 2020: Griffin Colapinto, Italo Ferreira, Stace Galbraith, Connor Coffin, And Coco Ho

Day 6... Eyes are starting to hurt.... The other Intern quit.... Im all alone...

Comments

The Big Saturday Content Keeps On A’Comin

Click or Miss Vol.10

Comments

Surfer Of The Year 2020: Cam Richards, Albee Layer, Sierra Kerr, Mike February, and Damien Fahrenfort

Half way there, come see who's in the lead.

Comments

Tearing Down Walls At J-Bay

Karl Steen gives a lesson on water displacement.

Comments

The Smoothest Snap Stall You Ever Did See

Burch, The Tudors and more of San Diego’s finest in Log Rap’s ‘Made You Look’.

Comments

Mark Mathews’ 12 Tips To Push Your Big-Wave Limits

Part 3 of 3: Mark Mathews guides us on board choice, accessories and dealing with…

Comments

When’s The Last Time You Saw A Blank Nose Move Like This?

Answer for yourself in Connor O'Leary's 'Far East'.

Comments

The Secret WSL Flight Set To Save The World Tour

World Tour surfing in 2021 hinges on a sneaky charter flight and two weeks on…

Comments

Stab Surfer Of The Year 2020: Tanner Gudauskas, Evan Geiselman, Tom Jennings, Karina Rozunko, And Caroline Marks

"When I first watched that edit, I honestly was so inspired that I rewatched it…

Comments

How To Surf Good Waves Sans Crowd

We've cracked the code in this week's edition of the Fwd.

Comments

Stab Surfer Of The Year 2020: Parker Coffin, Jimmy Wilson, Matt Meola, Steph Gilmore, And Eric Geiselman

Lark, Jimmicane, the queen, and more.

Comments

Stab in The Dark with Taj Burrow, Episode 1 of 4

Featuring 13 unmarked, Dark Arts constructed surfboards.

Comments

What In The World Is Chuffed?

Broaden your vocabulary with the latest edit from Joel Paxton.

Comments
Advertisement