Oil recovery first step in salvaging sunken ship

Published June 28, 2019, 2:11 PM

by Martin Sadongdong & Antonio Colina

By Minerva Newman  

CEBU CITY — The salvage company that will refloat the cargo ship that sank at a private port here will concentrate first on recovering any fuel oil left in the vessel to prevent it from contaminating the surrounding waters.

MV Eva Mary Grace vessel (Biliran Island Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)
MV Eva Mary Grace vessel (Biliran Island Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

The M/V Eva Màry Grace was taking on cargo at San Fernando port last Tuesday when it keeled over.

The salvage firm, Solid Earth Development Corp. (SEDC), will prioritize the extraction of oil from the ship, according to SEDC division manager for human resources and administration Mitzie Almira Carin.

Solid Earth was hired by the ship’s owner. Eva Shipping Corp., for the salvage operation.

Carin said that as of Thursday, the Solid Earth response team saw no signs of oil leaking beyond the spill boom that was deployed around the ship and along the shorelines of Barangays Panadtaran and South Poblacion.

The team has been checking a 500-meter area from Berth No. 9 where the Eva Mary Grace sank for oil sheens, Carin said.

The spill boom was placed around the vessel a few minutes after it capsized and a secondary boom was set up an hour later.

Absorbent pads were also placed on traces of oil sheen that were noted four hours after the sinking.

“Our SEDC seaborne patrol and Coast Guard patrol periodically check the seawaters since until now,” Carin said.

The barge of the salvaging firm, Uni Orient Pearl Ventures, Inc., arrived at the port Thursday afternoon, she said.