Bagging Operation To Seal Sunken Tanker Begins

Last Saturday, April 1st 2023, local authorities launched the bagging process to contain the leaking fuel oil from MT Princess Empress near Naujan, Oriental Mindoro. The process involves wrapping the boat in specialized bags and is part of the oil spill management operations conducted by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

More than a month after the tanker MT Princess Empress sank off the coast of Oriental Mindoro, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the crew of the Japanese dynamic positioning vessel Shin Nichi Maru have begun “bagging” operations to seal off leaks.

Sunken Tanker
Image for representation purposes only

Governor Humerlito Dolor of Oriental Mindoro reported that 16 more tailor-made bags are anticipated to arrive from Cavite on Monday, April 3, for further cleanup efforts. Thus far, 14,083 litres of oily water mixture and 155 sacks of oil-contaminated materials have been collected from Naujan, Bulalacao and Pola towns in Oriental Mindoro since March 1st.

As a result, the specialised bags were loaded onto the Japanese dynamic positioning vessel (DPV) Shin Nichi Maru and tested with PCG personnel on board.

A remotely operated vehicle (ROV) or underwater robot was used to place the specialised bags on the MT Princess Empress. To keep operations running, at least 16 more customised bags will arrive in Oriental Mindoro from a plantation in Cavite on Monday, April 3.

According to NDRRMC Executive Director Undersec. Ariel Nepomuceno, they are grateful for all of the other countries assistance in dealing with this emergency. They hope that, in addition to international assistance, the coordinated response of government agencies and local government units will allow them to accelerate efforts to contain the leak and mitigate the effects of the oil spill.

Meanwhile, during the offshore response operations, 14,083 litres of oily water mixture and 155 sacks of oil-contaminated materials were collected during the ongoing clean-up operations in the oil spill-affected areas.

From March 1 to 31, the PCG collected 4,150.5 sacks and 22 drums of waste at 13 affected barangays in Naujan, Bulalacao, and Pola towns in Oriental Mindoro.

Moreover, 36,658 families (comprising about 173,468 individuals) in 163 barangays across four provinces have been affected due to the incident. Additionally, agricultural damage has totalled P263,556,100 thus far, which disproportionately impacts 16,930 farmers’ and fisherfolks’ livelihoods.

Reference: Manila Bulletin, Inquirer.net

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