On 29th May, Dynamic support vessel (DSV) Fire Opal has begun oil siphoning operation in Naujan municipality to seal off leaks from the sunken tanker Princess Empress, which sank south of Luzon off Pola, Oriental Mindoro on February 28th.
ccording to incident commander Commodore Geronimo Tuvilla of the Philippine Coast Guard, the operation will take 20 to 30 days, depending on the weather conditions and progress on the wreck. An estimated 100,000 liters of fuel oil remains on board.
Once the oil removal is completed, we hope that the process will pave the way for the rehabilitation of affected areas and finally transition to normalcy for affected Mindoreños.
To remind, the Princess Empress went down off Oriental Mindoro on February 28 with about 800,000 liters of fuel oil on board, and the Philippine Coast Guard believes that at least three out of her five cargo tanks leaked their contents into the sea.
The resulting pollution wreaked havoc on the coastal villages of the province, which are reliant on fishing and tourism for income.
The Philippines’ Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) maintains that the Princess Empress did not have a valid operating permit for domestic trading at the time of the casualty.
Furthermore, on 5th April, the Philippines Coast Guard (PCG) and a Japanese salvor begun a bagging operation to seal off leaks from the sunken tanker.