Navy personnel were called in yesterday to clean up and contain about 5,000 liters of diesel that spilled into the ocean following the sinking of a tugboat in the bay at Puerto Marqués in Acapulco.
The tugboat belonged to the Cabo Marqués Development Group and was used six years ago in the construction of the Majahua Marina. The vessel began to sink early yesterday.
The spill forced beach-goers to retreat before the incoming oily tide.
The navy responded to the emergency with a helicopter, three boats and 74 troops who deployed a 50-meter barrier in an attempt to contain and recover the spilled fuel. In a statement, the navy announced that the situation was under control and that its personnel were cleaning up affected beach areas.
Some local business owners protested in front of navy headquarters in Acapulco to demand restitution for the loss of tourist dollars caused by the spill. They accused port authorities inaction after warnings that the long-abandoned tugboat had been damaged and was in danger of sinking.
Residents told journalists that authorities did not respond to the spill until eight hours after the boat had sunk. Acapulco Chamber of Commerce president Alejandro Martínez Sidney said it was “very unfortunate” that the authorities did not take appropriate measures to prevent the spill, though he stressed that federal and state authorities had effectively contained the situation.
Source: Reforma (sp)