ITOPF oil spill experts arrived in the area
The Chinese Manilla based2GO Company, operator of the ferry MV Thomas Aquinas that crashed and sank on August 16, made a statement on the oil spill assessment that affected Cordova town in the Cebu province.The 2GO CompanyTwo London-based oil spill experts from the International Tankers Oil Pollution Federation (ITOPF) arrived on August 19, 2013 in the country upon the arrangements of 2GO Group whose passenger ferry, M/V-Thomas Aquinas sank in Lawis Ledge after a collision with a cargo vessel. The ITOPF is in charge of assessing oil spill at sea and coastal areas. Simultaneously, 2GO Group is continuing its rescue operations to ensure that survivors will be properly cared for.
Safety officers of Barangay Day-as in Cordova town, Cebu, scatter coconut husk fibers in the shallows of a mangrove swamp affected by the oil spill from the sunk MV St. Thomas Aquinas
(photo by Vic Kintanar, InterAksyon.com)
The experts Dr. Michael O’ Brien, an expert in environmental impact analysis, resource valuation and damage assessment and Nicky Cariglia, a master’s in tropical coastal management together with 2GO officials went to Cordova Island which only last Sunday declared a state of calamity following the oil spill from the sunken ship. The team will make an assessment of the oil spill and meet with Philippine Coast Guard to discuss with them what further steps to take. The hiring of experts is part of 2GO Group’s commitment to care and safeguard the marine environment.
ITOPF has taken part in successful efforts in different parts of the globe to clean six major oil spill disasters in 2011 and three more as of February 2012 involving carriers and tankers. Some of these new incidents became high profile and gave rise to a complex response and substantial claims.
Aside from the ITOPF experts, a team of Japanese salvage experts, also arranged by 2GO Group, arrived. The Japanese salvage team includes technical divers and a salvage master in charge of salvaging the oil from the sunken vessel.
To help in cleaning up the coastal area, 2GO has been providing the following supplies to manage the oil spill: 30 drums of organic oil dispersant (approved by PCG); 30 pairs of gloves; 300 pieces of masks; 50 pieces of rakes; 100 pieces of garbage sacks; 50 pieces of absorbent pads; 100 pieces of pail or sacks for disposal; 10 units of back pack sprayer and several other items.
Read more about the MV Thomas Aquinas Cebu maritime tragedy in the Safety4Sea articles