September 21, 2017, 8:09 pm
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Cargo vessel sinks off Talisay City

A CARGO ship sank off Talisay City in Cebu yesterday morning and Philippine Coast Guard personnel are working to address a possible oil spill.

Commander Dionilett Ampil, chief of the Coast Guard Cebu Station, said the ill-fated MV Fortuner sank about 2.2 kilometers from the shorelines of Talisay City at around 6:30 a.m. 

Prior to the sinking, Ampil said the vessel’s crew members heard cracking sounds from the middle portion of the hull. The ship is resting on the seabed which is estimated to be 90 feet deep.

Ampil said the ship’s company sent a tugboat that rescued all the 22 crew members, including the captain. “All’s accounted, no casualty, no injury, though the ship sank,” he said.

Ampil said the ship was carrying steel bars. He could not immediately say the point of origin and destination of the vessel. “We still don’t know if it’s about to unload or just finished loading (in Cebu),” he said.

Ampil said the PCG is coordinating with the ship owner. “What we are focusing here is on the side of environment. We want to protect the area from possible oil spill,” said Ampil, adding that underwater pressure may cause the oil spill.

“As of now, we have boats on standby there, ready for possible oil spill. Although there is no oil spill yet, we are anticipating. Nevertheless, we are ready in the area (to address possible oil spill),” he said.

“We have assets patrol the area to check traces of oil. So far there is no trace. Our troops are on standby in the area. There is still no oil spill but pressure may cause oil spill,” the official also said.

Ampil said technical divers hired by the shipping company was already checking the condition of the ship. “The company is coordinating with us to address possible environment concerns,” he said. – Victor Reyes 
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