Tanker vessel runs on Kiamba reef

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/8 May) – A tanker vessel rummaged a reef in Kiamba town, Sarangani on Sunday, the Philippine Coast Guard station in General Santos City said.

Noel Ramos, PCG seaman II, identified the ship as M/T Prosperity.

He did not give anymore details as they were still waiting for the report of the team that investigated the incident.

John Heitz, an American expatriate in General Santos, rushed to Kiamba and went to the vessel on a pump boat and confirmed that a vessel was stuck at Bakud Reef.

He said the stuck cargo ship was manned by Filipino crewmen and loaded with coal bound to India from Australia.

Heitz said that three-fourths of the boat got stuck on the reef, although the propeller was not jammed, adding that he also saw a small hole in the hull on the front left side of the vessel.

He said it will be difficult to remove from the vessel from the reef, adding that a tug boat is needed during high tide.

Bakud Reef, which locals also referred to as Tambilil, is about 7 kilometers from the shore. Divers describe Bakud Reef as the “only good reef” left in the area.

This was not the first time that a ship ran aground at Bakud Reef, according to sources, who said that an earlier incident was left unreported.

Heitz said that a portion of Bakud Reef is shallow, where a man can stand up and his head would still be above the sea surface.

Sarangani Gov. Miguel Rene A. Dominguez, said he received information about the tanker stuck at the reef, but he could not immediately give details.

He said he was hoping that there would be no oil spill.

The governor added that he already spoke with Commodore Eduardo Gongona, Coast Guard commander for Southeastern Mindanao District.

Dominguez said that a team from the Coast Guard stationed in Kiamba town have boarded the tanker vessel to investigate. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)