'Only 39 percent of Princess of the Stars salvage operations completed'
- Evelyn Macairan () - June 21, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) yesterday said only 39.15 percent of salvaging operations have been completed three years after the biggest domestic vessel M/V Princess of the Stars capsized near Sibuyan island in Romblon.

PCG spokesman Lieutenant Commander Algier Ricafrente said that as of yesterday, the salvaging operations of the 23,000-gross ton Princess of the Stars were still far from being completed.

“As of now, based on the scope of work for the salvaging operations only 39.15 percent has been finished,” he said.

On the third anniversary of the sinking of the ill-fated ship, Ricafrente said they did not prepare any commemorating activity but would continue to concentrate on the salvaging operations. The vessel is being cut into pieces and the parts transported to Navotas.

He explained that the salvaging operations of private salvor Royal Jessan Petromin Resources Inc. were often hampered by bad weather. He is also unaware if a deadline has been set for the completion of work.

The latest interruption was caused by tropical depression “Egay,” forcing the salvor and the PCG to temporarily suspend operations. 

The PCG is also vigilant against possible oil leaks and had stationed some of their Marine Environment Protection Unit (MEPU) personnel in the area, and are also on the look out for bodies or skeletal remains that may still be trapped inside the ship.

Just before they temporarily terminated their operations last June 18, the PCG-Special Operations Group (SOG) divers found two human skeletal parts, but they would have to wait for forensic experts for identification.

“We were informed by our PCG Southern Tagalog district that the remains were taken from level 2, deck B of the accommodations area of the M/V Princess of the Stars,” said Ricafrente.

The skeletal remains will be turned over to the Public Affairs Office, which is helping the relatives of the victims in pursuing the criminal case against the ship’s former owner Sulpicio Lines Inc., now known as Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corp.

Of the 864 passengers and crew on board, only 33 survived the sea mishap. There were about 500 dead and 300 others still missing.

Princess of the Stars left the Port of Manila on June 20, 2008 for Cebu. However, just before noon the next day, upon reaching Sibuyan island in Romblon province, it entered the eye of typhoon “Frank” and was met by strong winds, waves and heavy rain that caused the ship to tilt 40 degrees to portside (left) and subsequently turn over completely.

The vessel was owned and operated by Sulpicio when it sank some one-nautical mile from Sibuyan Island. The vessel was sold to Royal Jessan Petromin Resources in December 2008. 

LIEUTENANT COMMANDER ALGIER RICAFRENTE MARINE ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION UNIT OPERATIONS PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD PHILIPPINE SPAN ASIA CARRIER CORP PORT OF MANILA PRINCESS OF THE STARS PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE RICAFRENTE ROMBLON V PRINCESS OF THE STARS
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with