Foreign cargo ship runs aground off Biliran

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TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines—A foreign commercial vessel manned by Vietnamese and loaded with more than 1,600 pieces of lumber ran aground off  Maripipi Island in Biliran province Thursday night, officials said.

The Japan-bound ship M/V Unicorn Logger, which had 18 crew members and was skippered by Nguyen Anh Tuan, ran aground at Sambawan Islet at around 7:10 p.m., Maripipi town local government operations head Ritchie Peñaflor said in a phone interview.

The 5,691-ton Panamanian-registered ship was carrying lumber weighing a total of  836 metric tons, Peñaflor said. He identified the vessel’s operator as Wisdom Marine Lines based in Panama.

The vessel departed from Sandakan, Malaysia, on June 11 at around 9 a.m. and was bound for Japan when it ran aground at the Sambawan Islet off the island town of Maripipi.

The vessel hit about 270 square meters of coral reefs, Peñaflor said.

“This is now our concern. The incident has resulted in the destruction of our coral reefs covering 270 square meters based on the initial assessment of our local fishery and agriculture office,” Peñaflor said.

On top of this, they were also looking for possible oil leaks that might result from the incident, he added. So far, no oil was seen coming from the vessel.

Peñaflor said the Maripipi local government was studying the possibility of seeking damages for the destruction of coral reefs from the owner of the vessel.

The site of the grounding is 50 to 60 meters from a beach resort maintained by the local government of Maripipi, the farthest island municipality of Biliran province.

Philippine Coast Guard personnel from Tacloban City were on their way to assess the situation, Peñaflor said.

He explained that they were having some difficulty getting more information from the ship captain due to the language barrier.

Peñaflor said the local government has offered assistance to the crew, who were all Vietnamese, but they chose to stay on the vessel.

Peñaflor also said that based on their initial interview with the captain, the ship was trying to avoid a fishing vessel when they ran aground.

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  • KarlosRegaza

    Another one bites the reef..

    • kanoy

      I’m surprised the RPCG did not kill the captain

      • Luthmar

        I am surprise you are still around.

  • $26606290

    Avoid….papunta sa mababaw….

  • freedom of navigation

    Vessel in distress yan. We need to help them under the int’l law. Maliwanag na hindi yan poacher. Mga poachers lang ang dapat nating sitahin. At saka taga Panama yan, mahirap kung sisistahin natin baka i-ban tayo sa pag daan sa Panama Canal.

    • NoWorryBHappy

      Ows … Really ?
      Well, then, that’s simple. Kailangan sitahin.
      Einstein would have suggested that we build a Panama Canal where
      the ship ran aground. Para naman hindi tayo i-ban. Gawa tayo ng sariling
      Panama Canal.

  • 3xposed

    Is there some serious lighthouse / sea map deficiency going on here with the Philippines? Groundings have become routine.

    • Luthmar

      How about “some serious” inefficiency on the sea voyagers?

      • 3xposed

        With the frequency of the groundings and the sea voyagers coming from different nations, different backgrounds, it would seem more with deficient navigational warnings, markings, and mapping. Again, just looking at the odds of so many different vessels of various backgrounds grounding in Philippine waters. Can’t expect outsiders to map your area but then insufficient internal mapping wouldn’t provide the adequate warnings and markings for foreign vessels transiting.

  • Patikotiko

    Yan sinasabi ko. Foreign vessels traveling Philippine waters should be required to have a local CGs pilot to guide them. Then bago lumabas ng area of responsibily ay bahala na sila. That way our coral reefs are being protected as well as the foreign vessels. Dagdag trabaho at kita pa sa mga kababayan natin. Sa ibang bansa dka makakapasok ng territorial nila kung dka send entry request then sasalubungin ka ng CG nila at iga-guide kayo…

    • Matty099

      They should be arrested for intrusion. They were not merely in our territorial waters but INTERNAL WATERS. That is like getting inside the Philippines without permit or visa!

      • 3xposed

        Why would a cargo ship picking up or delivering goods to the Philippines be considered intrusion? If everything’s an intrusion, close your country off to the world and live in isolation like feudal Japan. Then you have a point about intrusion.

      • sakinlang

        Picking up and delivering goods to the Philippines? You got a serious reading comprehension problem!

      • 3xposed

        My mistake on the ship’s itinerary. However, first reports had no such info. It still may not qualify as an intrusion because UNLCOS permits right to innocent passage.

  • LabkoPinas

    Firstly, was this a shipment of legally cut and exportable logs? Secondly, why where they in coral laden areas? Did the Philippines file a lien against the ship and its cargo for damages to our coral area? These are the steps we have to do immediately.

  • Luthmar

    AGAIN!?

  • vaporub123

    ang layo ng pinadpad ng barko?galing Malaysia sumabit sa may maripipi island?hindi kaya galling sa biliran naghakot ng illegal lumbers at nasadsad ng paalis na?

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