The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) informed on 21.00 hours of November 21 that “Viet Hai Star”, a 2008 built general cargo vessel of 4062 dwt, carrying 4,000 tons of rice ran aground at approximately 810 yards off Balabac Port, Palawan, Philippines.

The Philippine Coast Guard and Philippine National Police Maritime Group (PNP MARIG) have rescued the 17 Vietnamese crew of the Vietnamese-flagged general cargo vessel, with the joint SAR team carrying the 17 crew, all in good physical condition, to the Balabac Port where they arrived safely yesterday at around 05.10 hours on November 22.

PCG states that the vessel departed Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, going to Cagayan de Oro City when the crew discovered a leakage at the starboard side of the bow where the first compartment was already flooded, and after it ran aground the vessel is currently half-submerged in the vicinity waters off Balabac, Palawan.

In a new update from 07.00 hours today the PCG response team reported that the vessel meantime was fully flooded due to high tide and rough seas overnight and now settled on a muddy and rocky area of Calandorang Bay in Balabac.

The Philippines Coast Guard personnel at the same time also noticed oil sheens within the vicinity waters, as the subject vessel was carrying 29,000 liters of automotive diesel oil (ADO), so the Marine Environmental Protection Unit (MEPU) personnel immediately started laying out oil spill booms to control the incident.

Furthermore, the Philippines Coast Guard’s Special Operations Group (SOG) divers are conducting an underwater inspection to assess the vessel’s status for further measures.

Video credit: Philippines Coast Guard