Panamanian ship grounded in GenSan removed

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/08 May) — Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel successfully removed on Thursday a Panamanian flagged vessel that ran aground off a coastal village here earlier this week.

Lt. Rolando Lorenzana, commander of the PCG station here, said they were able to steer cargo vessel M/V Tiara 108 from a shallow portion of the waters in Barangay Bawing here at past 8 a.m. Thursday, two days after it was stranded in the area.

He said the vessel, which came from Papua New Guinea, was on its way to the city fishport complex on Tuesday morning when it drifted to the area.

The vessel’s skipper, which was carrying around 4,000 metric tons of tuna, reportedly “miscalculated” its track after evading some small fishing vessels, he said.

“It eventually hit a shallow portion of the sea, estimated at about five to seven meters deep, and got stuck there,” Lorenzana told MindaNews.

Aided by the high tide, he said they were able to move the vessel on Thursday morning through the help of salvor Harbor Star Shipping Services.

Based on their initial assessment, Lorenzana said the vessel did not suffer any major damage as a result of its grounding.

He said the vessel as appraised by their personnel as seaworthy and was allowed to proceed to its voyage.

“The ship has not violated any regulation so far, so we cleared it and allowed to go,” he said.

But Lorenzana said they might recall the vessel later on should they find any damage to the area where it ran aground that is a part of the Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape.

He said they were still waiting for the results of the assessment conducted by technical divers on the site.

It case they find damages to the area’s corals and marine life, he said they would immediately endorse the matter to the Department of Environment of Natural Resources and the Protected Area Management Board for appropriate action. (MindaNews)