Coast Guard tells owner to remove sunken vessel off Boracay
AKLAN, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)-Caticlan office urged the owner of LCT Bato Twin to immediately salvage the ill-fated cargo vessel. It sank on November 4 near Boracay Island and remains a potential threat to pumpboats and ships.
LCT Bato Twin departed Sambiray Port in mainland Malay at around 9 am and was on its way to Manoc-Manoc cargo port in Boracay Island when it encountered big waves.
The cargo vessel took in seawater and sank about 500 meters away from the shoreline of mainland Malay.
Lt. Commandeer Joe Luviz Mercurio said “no signs of oil spill from the sunken cargo vessel were observed during the close monitoring by PCG teams.”
“Under investigation pa rin ang incident. Kailangang magcoordinate ang management ng LCT Bato Twin para masalvage kaagad at maiwasan ang oil spill. Posible na maging hazard ang cargo vessel sa mga dumadaang barko lalo na pag low tide, baka madisgrasya pa pag masagi ang ilalim ng barko,” he said on Tuesday, November 20.
(The incident is still under investigation. The management of LCT Bato Twin must coordinate with us so we can salvage the boat immediately and avoid an oil spill. The cargo vessel could pose as a hazard to passing ships, specially during low tide. It could wreck the bottom part of boats.)
Mercurio said they put a marker or buoy in the incident area to minimize hazards to ships or motorized pumpboats travelling to Boracay or Mindoro.
“Nasa lalim na 12 meters ang cargo vessel ayon sa underwater inspection natin. Dapat may PCG accredited salvor to remove the wreck sa lugar,” he stressed. (The cargo vessel is 12 meters deep said our underwater inspection team. The salvor who would remove the wreck should be accredited by PCG.)
During the incident, the cargo vessel loaded with 50 tons of sand and gravel tried to manuever towards Sambiray port, but, the effort of crew members yielded negative results.
Thirteen crew members including the skipper were rescued by responding the PCG and were brought to a local hospital in Barangay Motag.
“Nag-take in ng water ang front area ng barge dahil sa biglang paglakas ng alon at hangin kahit walang weather disturbance. Nag-attempt sila to dock sa Manoc-Manoc to unload ang dalang buhangin kaso malakas ang agos,” Mercurio said.
(The front area of the barge took in water because of the huge waves and strong winds, even though there was no weather disturbance. They tried docking at Manoc-Manoc to unload their cargo, but they waves were just too strong.)
PCG personnel, he added, are ready to contain and clean up an oil spill scenario.
“Noong lumubog ang barge, we have oil spill response teams to determine the possibility of oil spill. So far, no sign of oil leaks coming out of the vessel,” Mercurio said. (We sent oil spill response teams when the boat sank to determine the possiblity of oil leaks.) – Rappler.com