At the weekend I was out helping BREEF deploy a series of buoys around the Coral Reef Sculpture Garden. The purpose of which is to stop boats getting too close to the statues and ultimately damaging them.
It was a resounding success except for one problem, oil. If there is a southerly or easterly wind then the oil is over the site of the sculpture garden. This means that snorkellers, scuba divers and even miniture subs risk getting covered in oil. Not to mention the damage to the marine life, environment and the toxic fumes that it produces.
I provided surface cover for the two divers that were setting up the buoys, so I was lucky enough to not be covered in oil but the fumes from the oil gave me a headache that lasted the rest of the day. I still haven’t seen the statue with my own eyes but due to the presence of the oil I refused to get into the water.
The two divers that were in the water came out covered in oil. Their equipment was also covered and will have to be serviced before being used again. Even our buoys that had only been in the water a few hours turned from a brilliant white to a horrible brown/black.
It’s a horrible thing and I urge the Bahamian government to fix this problem as quickly as possible. This pollution will destroy the wildlife and put tourists off from returning if they find themselves and their snorkelling/scuba equipment covered in oil.