Salvage and anti-oil spill ops ongoing after tugboat sinks in Naga
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Salvage and oil spill prevention operations are currently ongoing in the seas off of Naga City, Cebu after a tugboat sank there last Sunday, September 3.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said they had deployed their Marine Environmental Protection Force to initiate oil spill prevention measures after motor tugboat Sugbo 2 sank.
Tugboat carries 9,000 liters of fuel and oil
In an incident report, PCG stated that the tugboat carried over 9,000 liters of fuel and oil before seawater entered its damaged hull, and eventually sank to the bottom of the sea.
To prevent the spread of the oil spill, Coast Guard personnel placed three segments of the oil spill boom, two bales of absorbent pads, and four segments of absorbent boom around the area where Sugbo 2 sank.
Shortly before it sank, the tugboat had 8,612 liters of diesel and 1,200 liters of lubrication oil onboard.
Sugbo 2’s crew rescued, safe
On the other hand, PCG said Sugbo 2’s seven crew members had been rescued and were safe.
Based on in their investigations, the Coast Guard Substation in Naga City received a distress call from Sugbo 2’s captain, Alberto Medina, around 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.
The captain told Coast Guard personnel that their vessel had started taking in water. The crew also discovered a hole, four inches in diameter, on its hull.
According to PCG, Medina deployed water pumps in an attempt to save the vessel from sinking. However, the tugboat lost its power.
The captain initially called for a sister vessel, motor tugboat Sugbo 5, to provide electricity for their water pumps.
But a few minutes after making the call, the captain instructed all of his crew to abandon the ship as the seawater had already reached the steering room.
A nearby tugboat, Sugbo 7, rescued the crew.
Sugbo 2 sank near East Poblacion
Sugbo 2 eventually sank within the vicinity of Brgy. East Poblacion in Naga City at 2:50 p.m., or roughly two hours after they made the distress call.
Meanwhile, PCG vowed to the Naga City government that they would continue to monitor the aftermath of the tugboat’s sinking.
They have also started coordinating with neighboring areas for possible sightings or traces of oil spills within their areas.
Naga City is a fifth-class component city located approximately 25 kilometers south of Cebu City.
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