Foreign vessel runs aground in Legazpi City; damage to coral reef feared
LEGAZPI CITY, Albay, Philippines — A foreign vessel ran aground in Polique Bay off Barangay (village) San Francisco in Legazpi City, causing damage to the marine environment in the area, said Benigno Redito, officer in charge of the city’s Integrated Coastal Resource Management Unit.
Redito said based on the information relayed by the residents, the vessel, identified as “MV Royal 16,”ť as shown from a distance, had been seen at the bay area since Sunday (Dec. 13), during which time then tropical storm Nona had already entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility but before Albay was placed under any storm signal.
Some residents said that the vessel ran aground when (the vessel’s crew) tried to secure it against the possible wrath of the typhoon. When they tried to anchor it, it ran aground because of the strong wind, Redito said.
According to Rodito, the vessel was located about 50 meters away from the shoreline in an area that is part of the coral reef system of southern Legazpi City to Manito town.
“That place is shallow and it is likely that damage has been done to the coral reef. Let us wait for the official investigation of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG),” Redito added.
The PCG here has not identified the number and nationality of the crew of the vessel, he said.
A check at marinetraffic.com, which tracks vessels worldwide, showed that MV Royal 16 is a 2,999-ton Vietnamese bulk cargo vessel that was last recorded to have been around the vicinity of Tabaco City in Albay. It had no port calls recorded during the last three days, the website said. SFM
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