Oil slick spotted near sunken ship in Pangasinan


Posted at Feb 19 2013 12:52 PM | Updated as of Feb 19 2013 08:52 PM

MANILA - Authorities have spotted an oil slick off the coast of Bolinao in Pangasinan where a Myanmar ship sank over the weekend.

A report by ABS-CBN News correspondent Pia Gutierrez said the Philippine Coast Guard is shifting operations to mitigate damage from the oil slick emanating from Myanmar ship MV Harita, which sank in the waters off Bolinao, Pangasinan last Saturday.

The oil slick was discovered 10-12 nautical miles from the shoreline of Bolinao, and slowly moving out to sea.

The Coast Guard has deployed equipment and personnel to the shoreline to Bolinao and Infanta in case the current shifts towards the shore. Officials are hoping the oil slick will dissipate through natural means.

Captain Pablo Gonzalez of the Philippine Coast Guard said he has terminated search and rescue operations for 14 missing Myanmar nationals of the ship. This is after an aerial survey of the area Monday found no survivors or bodies.

Most of the missing crew members were engineers in the lower part of the ship and there is a big possibility that they might have gone down with the ship.

Gonzalez said the search and rescue operations will continue if there are sightings of survivors or bodies of the missing crew

A Chinese vessel earlier rescued 9 crew members of the Myanmar ship MV Harita. The Coast Guard airlifted 2 injured crew members to La Union while 7 others were brought to Sual in Pangasinan.

The Myanmar embassy is now coordinating for the repatriation of the sailors.