A cargo vessel that ran aground due to harsh weather conditions in the shallow waters off Surigao del Norte has damaged several corals and marine habitat, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported on Wednesday, Sept. 15.
Based on the initial investigation, the PCG said that while the cargo vessel LCT Golden Star 9 was passing off Danawan Island bound for Agusan del Norte on Wednesday, it unexpectedly encountered rough sea conditions accompanied by strong winds.
The incident led 75 percent of the cargo vessel’s length to run aground in the shallow waters of 0.2 nautical miles off Danawan Island, Surigao City, Surigao del Norte.
The vessel, with 12 crew members on board and no cargo, had a hole in the port area of its engine room, which resulted in flooding.
The LCT Golden Star 9 with 730 gross tonnages was owned and operated by Manfel Cargo Shipping Corp. based in Taguig.
In coordination with the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) Regional Office XIII, authorities are conducting underwater hull inspections to determine the severity of the damage.
According to the PCG, the shipowner was also tasked to remove the LCT Golden Star 9, as it is considered a hazard to navigation and to prevent further marine environmental damages.
Meanwhile, PCG Station Surigao del Norte Station Commander Elaine Pangilinan has issued a Notice to Mariners directing all ships and other watercraft transiting in the concerned vicinity waters to be vigilant and take precautionary measures, especially during nighttime.
The Coast Guard also advised the vessel’s Captain Alchie Biñan to file a marine protest relative to the incident.
No crew members were injured during the incident.