A 6km long, 4km wide diesel slick has been detected near the white sandy beaches of the popular island resort destination of Mindoro in the Philippines following the sinking yesterday of the locally flagged product tanker Princess Empress.
The laden ship’s engine overheated early yesterday morning, having encountered rough weather on a domestic trip. The ship then drifted and sank off the northeast coast of Mindoro with the 20 crew safely picked up by a nearby general cargo ship. The submerged ship is operated by local firm RDC Reield Marine Services.
Tugboats and booms have been deployed to the scene.
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The spill thus far has been just diesel, but concern is growing about the cargo, 800,000 litres of industrial fuel oil.
“We need to remove it because it can spill anytime which can lead to an environmental catastrophe,” a spokesperson for the Philippine Coast Guard told local media today. The coast guard said it has prepositioned all of its available assets to help in the salvage of the 2022-built ship.