Coast Guard confirms oil spill from ferry

Freeman News (The Philippine Star) - August 19, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - While many passengers have yet to be retrieved from the M/V St. Thomas Aquinas, another growing concern is the oil spill which the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has confirmed to have spread after the ship sank at Lawis Ledge off Talisay City Friday night.

Coast Guard commander for Central Visayas Commodore William Melad yesterday said the oil spill had spread three kilometers from the sinking site and the PCG was conducting an aerial survey around the area.

The St. Thomas Aquinas, owned by 2GO Shipping Lines, sank less than 30 minutes after colliding with M/V Sulpicio Express 7 of Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corp. (formerly Sulpicio Lines Inc.).

Melad said initial trajectory of the oil spill was southward of collision site.

Fishermen from Cordova town complained after discovering that the fishes, shells and crabs they fished out of water were covered in oil.

Melad said they installed an oil spill boom but had a difficult time because of rough seas.

2GO Shipping Lines reportedly sought the services of Malayan Towage and Salvage Corp. to assist them but Melad said actual salvage operation has yet to begin.

The Coast Guard was using a chemical dispersant to help mitigate the oil spill.

To address this concern, the Environmental Management Bureau-7 of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources created a four-man team to conduct an investigation on the reported spill affecting a number of barangays in Cordova and Lapu-Lapu City.

The team will determine the extent of damage brought about by the oil spill and collect water samples for laboratory tests.

 

CENTRAL VISAYAS COMMODORE WILLIAM MELAD COAST GUARD CORDOVA AND LAPU-LAPU CITY DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT BUREAU LAWIS LEDGE MALAYAN TOWAGE AND SALVAGE CORP MELAD OIL PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD SHIPPING LINES
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