Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 24th 2013 Contents From page A1
The hiring of a foreign clean-up crew was
not a emergency contingency plan but an
act of helplessness, he added.
Aboud said Fishermen & Friends of the
Sea had presented an emergency response
plan to the then government in 2003 and it
"It was a better plan than what we are
seeing now," he said.
He said one of the main proposals was
that all companies in the energy sector should
fund emergency response equipment and
get involved in resolving a crisis.
"But today, BP and BHP are sitting pretty
saying that s Petrotrin s problem."
Meanwhile, environmentalist Stephen
Broadbridge yesterday sent out an urgent
call for volunteers to assist in cleaning up
birds affected by the oil spill.
Broadbridge said his fellow Papa Bois Con-
servation director Marc de Verteuil, a T&T
Guardian columnist, had been working almost
single-handedly to save pelicans, skimmers
and other sea birds since oil spills, beginning
last Tuesday, devastated parts of the south-
"As we speak, Marc is down there now,"
Broadbridge, an honorary game warden,
said the scale of the spills was akin to a dis-
aster but was being underestimated and
"The response has been far too slow for
something of this scale. A lot of wildlife
would have died and sunk to the bottom of
the ocean," he said.
De Verteuil, with limited resources and
little assistance, has been collecting birds
from the blackened coastline, taking them
ashore and carefully washing each one with
dishwashing liquids and drying them with
"A lot of the birds have not been collected
because there is no manpower and a lot of
those collected have died," Broadbridge
He said people were trained for this but
none turned up at the scene.
"But more are getting stuck in the oil. We
have an appeal on Facebook for soap, paper
towels and volunteers. We have collected
some but it s not enough."
He said apart from Papa Bois and one per-
son from Petrotrin no one else has been
Broadbridge said the group would also
need help to transport birds from La Brea to
the Wildlife Orphanage and Rehabilitation
Centre (WORC), Diego Martin. So far they
have only been able to send two birds to the
He said damage-testing also needed to be
done to determine the effect of the spill on
fish and other sea creatures, like plankton,
shrimp and crustacean.
"Toxins from the oil could get into these
creatures and the food chain and this can
cause long-term health problems," he warned.
Broadbridge referred to the 2010 BP oil
spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which US gov-
ernment studies said caused lung diseases
and other abnormalities in dolphins.
"There s no such thing as a total clean-
up," he said.
Contacted yesterday, Environmental Man-
agement Authority communications specialist
Nicole Bachan said it was aware of the con-
servation group s problem and was working
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Regiment sources close to murdered Lance Cor-
poral Rawle Fletcher yesterday said he was failed
by the organisation which he had worked tirelessly
for over the past nine years of his life.
The sources claimed that Fletcher, who was
gunned down on Sunday, had reported to his supe-
riors that his life had been threatened and he believed
it was connected to a case in which he had assisted
authorities in removing illegal weapons off the
street. His home had also been shot at following
However, the sources said Fletcher was only
afforded minimal protection after voicing concerns
for his safety.
Contacted yesterday, Civil Military Affairs Officer
of the Defence Force, Major Al Alexander, confirmed
Fletcher s home was shot at and that his life was
threatened. He added that the reports were months
old and not as recent as the military source sug-
Alexander said Fletcher reported the incidents
to them in August, adding he believed the reports
and his killing were not related.
Also contacted yesterday, a relative of Fletcher
confirmed Fletcher had complained of his life being
threatened. The relative could not say when that
Fletcher, 34, National Energy Skills Centre (NESC)
student Anil Diram, 19, and businessman Mitra
Maharaj, 46, were all shot dead early Sunday morn-
ing near Inshan Ali Park, Polo Grounds, Preysal,
Fletcher was attending an all fours single table
card competition when around 3.25 am a vehicle
stopped and a man opened fire from inside the
vehicle. Shortly after, another man came out the
vehicle and continued shooting at Fletcher.
Fletcher was on sick leave from the Regiment
after injuring one of his hands while playing football.
In a release on Sunday, Alexander said Fletcher
was stationed at the Warrant Officers and Senior
Rates Mess at the Defence Force Headquarters,
In another release issued yesterday, Alexander
said Fletcher would be buried on Friday under full
military rites following a church ceremony at the
Isaiah Temple Spiritual Baptist Church, Polo
Grounds, Preysal, Couva.
The country s murder toll now stands at 398.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
'Impact can last years'
for 23rd DECEMBER, 2013
Slain soldier got
A backhoe operator is seen carrying out clean-up operations along Queen's Beach, La
Brea, yesterday. PHOTO: TONY HOWELL Inset: A rescue worker cleans off an oil-covered bird
which was rescued from the waters off the south-western peninsula over the weekend.
PHOTO COURTESY PAPA BOIS CONSERVATION
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