Chinese-registered dredger runs aground off Zambales – PCG

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Thursday said it has deployed a response team to conduct a survey and inspection operations on a dredger that ran aground off the coast of Botolan, Zambales.

The PCG said the Chinese-registered dredger, MV Zhong Hai 69 Alfa, was grounded last Sunday, June 14 approximately 200 meters off Barangay Bangan.

The survey and inspection conducted by the PCG response team showed that the vessel’s engine room and its compartments have been flooded with seawater.

The team, however, assured there are no signs of oil leaking from the grounded dredger.

The PCG-Zambales said the operator of the ship, Z2K Resources Inc., has pledged to procure additional bilge pumps to be used in the dewatering of the flooded vessel.

PCG Commandant Vice-Admiral George Ursabia Jr. assured that the salvage of the grounded dredger will be strictly supervised by the PCG and that there will be continuous monitoring of the situation.

“The PCG remains on top of the situation. We do not want to add another burden to the current crisis we are facing. Most of all, we do not want the local residents in the area to bear the negative consequences of this situation, especially with the possible harm it can cause to the local marine environment,” Ursabia said.

The PCG is now working round-the-clock to supervise the salvaging of the dredger, he added.

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