Update: Philippine Coast Guard Continues to Monitor Oil Spill in Bolinao


The Philippine Coast Guard ended its search and rescue efforts for the missing 14 missing crewmen of a Panamian-flagged cargo vessel that sank in the waters off Bolinao in Pangasinan on February 17.

Coast Guard Northwestern Luzon district commander Captain Pablo Gonzalez said the missing Burmese-nationals were nowhere to be found in the area where M/V Harita Bauxite capsized last Sunday.

“We haven’t seen any indication that there were still survivors”, Gonzales said.

Gonzales added that the rough sea condition prevented them from resuming their search and rescue operations and based on the testimonies of the witnesses, they saw that some of the reported missing sank together with ill-fated vessel.

Nonetheless, the PCG is still hopeful that the crewmen of M/V Harita Bauxite are still alive.

“Our people are still on standby from Bolinao down to Infanta, Pangasinan. We are still hoping that we could get feedback from fishermen and vessels passing by,” Gonzales said.

Reports from the Coast Guard Action Center (CGAC) in Manila disclosed that a crew was confirmed dead, nine rescued, and 14 missing in the maritime incident.

An oil leak also occurred as M/V Harita encountered engine trouble, experienced rolling, and sank in Cape Bolinao.

“The site where the vessel sank was eight nautical miles from northwest of Bolinao. There were huge waves in the area. We also encountered gail force winds”, Gonzales said.

At the moment, the PCG is closely monitoring the movement of the oil spill at the sea off Bolinao.

“Its distance as of yesterday was 10 to 12 nautical miles on the northwest direction. It was on its way out of the West Philippine Sea”, Gonzales said.

He said the rough sea condition makes it difficult for them to contain the oil spill.

“I think it is best that we let nature do the rest and let it evaporate”, Gonzales added.

The oil spill measured three nautical miles and was spotted at the site where the vessel sank.

Marine Environmental Protection Command (MEPCOM) personnel dispatched in the area also placed oil spill boom in the area to prevent the spill from further spreading.

“Our MEPCOM personnel is closely monitoring the incident and already position marine pollution equipments near the area where the ship sank”, Gonzales added.



Source: http://www.maritime-executive.com/


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