Sunken vessel causes oil sheen in Iloilo sea

A joint Navy and Coast Guard team watching for oil spill from a sunken vessel in Iloilo Strait has reported a five-meter wide and two-kms long “oil sheen,” Cdr. Armando Balilo, Coast Guard Information Officer, said.

“The Coast Guard oil response unit on board two motorboats are now on the site dispersing the oil sheen by minimal spraying of dispersants and by agitating the water surface,” Balilo said.

He said diving operation in the area where the MV Sportivo sank last Sunday after a collission with cargo vessel MV Jehan 5 stopped because of bad weather.

MV Sportivo with 29 crew members sought shelter off Iloilo due to bad weather caused by Typhoon Agaton. It collided with the anchored MV Jehan 5.

MV Sportivo was on its way to Palawan to deliver 28,000 bags of fertilizer. It suffered a hole in its hull and sank. 

Seen Sam Shipping Inc, the owners of MV Sportivo, said they were considering re-floating the ship after the Coast Guard has determined its condition.

Commodore Athelo Ybanez, commander of the Coast Guard in Western Visayas, said the owners have hired a salvor company to re-float the ship, but they have yet to determine whether to remove the 12,000 liters of bunker fuel from the sunken vessel.

The Coast Guard said it will create a special board of marine inquiry to conduct an investigation into the collission.

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