Philippine Coast Guard responds to oil spill following tanker sinking incident

Photo: Philippine Coast Guard

The Philippine Coast Guard and various local partners have deployed pollution monitoring and control equipment in response to an oil spill that resulted from the sinking of a commercial tanker off Oriental Mindoro province earlier this week.

A yet undetermined quantity of fuel oil had leaked from the locally-owned tanker Princess Empress after it sank in rough seas off Naujan, Oriental Mindoro, on Tuesday, February 28.

All 20 of the crew were rescued by a passing Good Samaritan vessel. However, the surrounding waters have become heavily polluted, requiring the use of chemical dispersant over a surface area of approximately one hectare.

The spill response effort commenced on Wednesday, March 1. No date has yet been given on its targeted completion, as traces of the spilled oil have reportedly reached as far as 35 nautical miles south of where Princess Empress sank.

The tanker had fuel oil cargo totalling around 800,000 litres at the time of the incident.

The vessels involved in the ongoing spill response effort are the coast guard multi-role response vessel BRP Melchora Aquino and the civilian tug Titan.

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