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Coal ship remains aground on Mindanao reef

/ 06:45 PM May 27, 2011

ALABEL, Sarangani, Philippines—The cargo ship that ploughed through the Bakud Reef off Kiamba town on May 15 remained stuck in the protected reef as of Friday and it would still take some time before it is removed, the Coast Guard said in a report.

The Coast Guard said the Malaysian towing company contracted to remove the vessel has decided to unload some 8,000 tons of the coal cargo before re-floating it. But the process according to the Coast Guard has been slow as only 1,600 tons have so far been transferred to a barge.

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The MV Double Prosperity was carrying 66,000 tons of coal from Australia to India when it ran aground on the reef.

Angel Zapatos, provincial legal officer, said late last week that four coral and fish experts from the University of the Philippines’ marine science department conducted an investigation to determine the extent of damage to the reef and marine life.

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He said the ship’s owner, Yano Kaiun, also hired the services of a marine expert from Singapore.

Zapatos said the assessments were meant to determine the damage to the reef.

Meanwhile, Zapatos said a special board will conduct a marine inquiry to determine why the international cargo ship deviated from its route and ploughed through the coral reef.

Sanrangani Governor Miguel Dominguez had said earlier he believed the ship’s crew – mostly Filipinos – had left the vessel on autopilot while they watched the Pacquiao-Mosley fight.

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TAGS: Bakud Reef, Coral Reefs, Environment, Kiamba, maritime accident, Shipping
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