Tanker sinks off Oriental Mindoro, Philippines; crew safely rescued

Photo: Philippine Coast Guard
Photo: Philippine Coast Guard

The Philippine Coast Guard has reported that a locally-owned oil tanker sank after it encountered engine trouble off Oriental Mindoro province on Tuesday, February 28.

The tanker Princess Empress was en route to Iloilo province in the Western Visayas region when its engine overheated, leading to power loss and causing the vessel to drift off the coast of Naujan, Oriental Mindoro, at around 02:00 local time on Tuesday.

The tanker ended up partially submerged due to rough sea conditions though all 20 crewmembers were later rescued by the Panamanian-flagged general cargo vessel Efes, which diverted to the area to render asisstance. No injuries have been reported.

The survivors were later offloaded near the former US Navy base at Subic, Zambales province. They will remain in the coast guard's custody until they are cleared to be reunited with their respective families.

The coast guard has deployed the multi-role response vessel (MRRV) BRP Melchora Aquino and a helicopter to monitor the waters off Naujan for any signs of pollution.

Princess Empress had fuel oil cargo totalling approximately 800,000 litres at the time of the incident.

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