|Coast Guard sends MARPOL vessel in Tubbataha Reef|
|Friday, 18 January 2013 23:26|
MANILA- The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) ordered the deployment of their marine environmental protection vessel to assist in the ongoing search and rescue operations on the distressed US warship that ran aground along Tubbataha Reef in Sulu Sea off Palawan.
PCG commandant Rear Admiral Rodolfo Isorena on Friday ordered the dispatched of BRP-Corregidor (AE-891) together with rescue and marine environmental protection personnel onboard to render necessary assistance to the officers and crew of USS Guardian (MCM-5) that ran aground along Tubbataha Reef around 2:25 a.m. of Thursday.
Isorena said that aside from the two rescue teams from the Coast Guard Special Operations Group (CGSOG) and another two teams from the Marine Environmental Protection Command (MEPCOM), a medical team was also dispatched to check the condition of the distressed crew members
He added that MEPCOM personnel also brought MARPOLEX equipment such as oil spill boom, skimmer and oil dispersant chemicals to prevent any oil spill incident.
BRP-Corregidor is expected to arrive in the area within 36-hours, sailing at the speed of 10-knots.
The 68-meter (224-feet) avenger-class mine counter-measure vessel which is part of the U.S. 7th fleet home ported in Sasebo, Japan just finished made a port call in the former U.S. Naval facilities in Subic Bay, Zambales and supposedly on its way to Persian Gulf to assist in the growing tension along the Strait of Hormuz when they hit a shallow portion in the area declared as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
Upon learning the incident, joint personnel from PCG, Tubbataha Management Office (TMO), and the Philippine Navy conducted seaborne patrol operations while personnel from Coast Guard Detachment tried to establish contact with the said vessel.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Navy Control Craft BRP Ismael Lomibao (PG-383) left from Farola Wharf in Puerto Princesa City and also went to Tubbataha Reef Management Park (TRMP) together with PCG team onboard which is composed of five personnel from CGSOG divers to help in the ongoing rescue and evacuation operations of the 80 U.S. personnel aboard.
As of press time, rescue and evacuation operations are still ongoing.Share