THE Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is preparing for yet another oil spill response following the sinking of a fishing vessel carrying around 70,000 liters of diesel off Calatagan, Batangas on Sunday.
PCG District Southern Tagalog Commander Commodore Geronimo Tuvilla said on Tuesday in an interview that they received a phone call from Agutaya police at 6:45 a.m. on August 27 informing them about a submerged vessel within Batangas’ jurisdiction.
They later received confirmation from the mother of a crewmember of the distressed boat that the vessel, identified as Anita DJ II, was indeed submerged off the coast of Batangas.
It was learned that the boat, with a gross tonnage of 448.83 and net tonnage of 273.59, is owned by Irma Fishing and departed Navotas Port bound for the Palawan fishing grounds.
PCG Batangas coordinated with Irma Fishing Company and directed them to provide a tugboat for the towing operation of the subject vessel.
Commodore Tuvilla said they likewise coordinated with Harbor Star Shipping Services Incorporated and requested assistance in which the company’s Motor Tug Great Lark proceeded to the location to carry out possible towing operations.
Search and rescue team of Coast Guard Sub Station (CGSS) Calatagan sighted the distressed vessel and proceeded to rescue its 13 crew members.
The rescued crew were transported to Calatagan where they were provided with medical assistance by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office.
BRP Bagacay (MRRV-4410), a 44-meter multi-role response vessel operated by PCG, was dispatched to respond to the distressed vessel. MRRV 4410 reported the stricken vessel to be half-submerged about 1:35 p.m. and confirmed its sinking at 3:17 p.m. in waters 2.16 nautical miles south-southwest of Cape Santiago in Calatagan Island.
Further investigation by the crew into the reason for the mishap is currently ongoing, the PCG said.
The PCG said it also coordinated with the MDRRMO to prepare available oil spill response and local tourism officials to inform resort owners and local barangays to be vigilant for possible oil spills.
PCG Batangas likewise informed the Marine Environmental Protection Group and Coast Guard Station Mabini Batangas to coordinate with oil companies for assistance with possible oil spill response.