MANILA, Philippines – Big waves buffeted and caused a 174-ton cargo vessel to tilt and threaten to capsize off Bataan province before dawn Monday.
The Philippine Coast Guard sent rescue teams to the MV Ivatan to aid its crew and to watch out for possible oil spills.
“Ito [ay] malapit sa Basco. Bandang 10 p.m. ito nakadaong sa pier ng Basco pero sa lakas ng alon ito nagdesisyon na umangkorahe dahil sila ay binabangga sa pier ng Basco. Noong sila [ay] umangkorahe mga 2:30 a.m., mukhang napatid ang anchor o na-drag, di maganda ang pagkakapatid at ito ay sumadsad,” Coast Guard Maritime Safety Services Officer Commander Allan dela Vega said in an interview on dzBB radio.
(Crew men of the ship decided to drop anchor because big waves were causing the ship to repeatedly hit the pier at Basco. At about 2:30 a.m. Monday, the waves were too much for the anchored ship, and it titled.)
Coast Guard commandant Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo ordered the ship’s captain to submit a marine protest, and ordered a Coast Guard team to conduct an aerial survey of the site of the incident.
The ship’s cargo included cement and sand, the dzBB report said.
Citing information as of 6 a.m., dela Vega said the ship was titling about 60 degrees.
Dela Vega said that while the waters had calmed down, there is still a possibility of more big waves, although there is little chance of an oil spill.
“Di ganoon kalaki ang karga ng fuel oil (It is not carrying much fuel oil),” he said, but did not elaborate.
He added the Coast Guard had advised the ship’s owner to contact a salvage firm to clean up the possible mess.
Dela Vega said the crew of the ship were safe, even as the Coast Guard is monitoring possible threats to the environment caused by the incident.
“Nakaantabay tayo at handa tayong linisin yan (We are monitoring the situation and we will be ready to clean up a possible oil spill),” he said. (Read more on RSJ, GMANews.TV, and Yahoo! Philippines News)