The environmental impact spans at least 15km (nine miles) along Tobago's south-western coastline, encompassing some of the region's pristine beaches.

A collaborative effort involving 1,000 volunteers alongside government personnel is currently underway to address the spill and its aftermath. Divers are actively working to contain the leakage from the abandoned vessel, identified as The Gulfstream.

Farley Augustine, Chief Secretary of Tobago, hinted at the possibility of designating the incident as a Level 3 disaster, the highest classification. "Everything indicates that we are going in that direction," he stated, expressing concerns about the extent of the crisis.

Presently categorized as a Level 2 event, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management believes that the country possesses the capacity to manage the spill at its current severity.

However, a Level 3 designation would signify that local resources are overwhelmed, necessitating international assistance.

The vessel capsized last Wednesday off the coast of the Cove Eco-Industrial Estate, with no emergency calls reported. This unfortunate incident occurred just days before the country's carnival celebrations, a crucial source of income for the Trinidad and Tobago economy.

The potential escalation to a national emergency underscores the gravity of the situation and its broader implications.