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Another foreign vessel runs aground in coral reef


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

The Japan-bound MV Unicorn Logger, with a crew of 18 headed by Capt. Nguyen Anh Tuan, ran aground on 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 Panama-registered vessel was loaded with 1,607 pieces of lumber  weighing 836.06 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 around 9 a.m. and was sailing to Japan when it ran aground on Sambawan islet off the island town of Maripipi.


Reef damage

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

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

The fishery office was also looking for possible oil leaks but so far had found none, he said.

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

The site of the incident is about 50 to 60 meters away from a beach resort maintained by the municipal government, he said.

Maripipi is the farthest island-town of Biliran province.

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


Language barrier

He said the municipal government was having difficulty in getting more information from the ship captain, who spoke little English.

But the municipal government has offered assistance to the crew, if some of them have been hurt, Peñaflor said.

The crew members, who were all Vietnamese, chose to stay aboard the vessel.

Quoting the vessel’s captain, Peñaflor said the ship was trying to avoid hitting a fishing boat when it hit the  shallow portion of the waters off the islet, ending up grounded.

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Tags: Biliran province , Capt. Nguyen Anh Tuan , Coral Reef , Foreign Vessel , M/V Unicorn Logger , Maripipi Island

  • md’c™

    Reef Reef Reef, get the them out of our reefs. It takes 50 years to get the reefs back don’t they fr´eåking know that? And that fµck¡ng ship only 50-60 meters away from a beach is beyond me. That is just where the reefs are for god sakes. What they doing so close to the shores, parking and head to the beach?

    Coast guards, please establish a new maritime protected circle around our reefs within our EZZ and publish it to all shipping lines that use our shipping lanes. This the 4th time since last year we have a reef disaster. Increase the penalties to $100million per incident plus $5000 per square meter fine. This will make them think harder and be careful the second time. I am so mad about this why this happening all the time. Reefs we protect are reefs those fµck¡ng foreigners destroy.

  • DGuardian

    Bakit dumadaan nang napakalapit ang mga foreign vessels na iyan sa ating mga pampamg? Ayon sa report ay 50 to 60 meters ang layo mula sa beach resort na minementena ng local government doon. Talagang kailangan natin ang maraming Coast Guard patrol boats upang laging namo-monitor ang ating mga karagatan. Napakadalas na ang mga insidente na niwawasak ng mga banyaga ang ating mga coral reefs. Sana ay gumawa ng mga hakbang ang gobyerno para maiwasan na ito.

    Kay Mr. Joey Gabieta, hindi ba ang tama ay Sandakan, Sabah at hindi Sandakan, Malaysia? Dapat ay maging maingat tayo sa ganito dahil ang Pilipinas ang may-ari ng Sabah at hanggang ngayon ay ipinaglalaban ng Sultanate of Sulu at dapat ay ng lahat ng mga Pilipino ang karapatan at sovereignty ng Pilipinas sa Sabah.

  • joboni96

    labas masok mga dayuhang barko sa karagatan natin
    pati inperyalistang warships

    panahon ng singilin ng toll fee mga sibilyan at
    pagbawalan ang mga militar

  • Marcos5

    The story already smells fish then it’s fishy to me. Illegal logging na naman tapos nasa loob pa ng Pilipinas. Sige ubusin at kalbohin nyo na ang Pilipinas para ang mamamayan at mga Politiko at mga anak nila maghirap yun naman ang gusto nila di ba ? Wag nanatin protektahin ang dagat at kabundukan (illegal mining, poaching, logging, destruction of natural resources from reef, corals,timber, sand mining and minerals gold copper silver).
    Sige Ubusin nyo na lahat at papasukin nyo lahat wala naman talagang balak ang mga politico na protektahan ang kayamanan ng Pilipinas at mga nagpapayaman lang kapag umupo sama sama kayo maghirap sa bandang huli kayo rin ang maapektuhan.

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