Chinese cargo vessel with 49,550MT nickel ore strands off Samar’s Sulangan Island
TACLOBAN CITY — A Chinese cargo vessel loaded with 49,550 metric tons of nickel ore ran aground off Sulangan Island in Guiuan town, Eastern Samar, on Monday morning.
The MV Ambition Journey came from Homonhon Island, also in Guiuan town, and was bound to China when it had engine trouble before drifting to a shallow portion of Sulangan Island at around 2 a.m.
The Philippine Coast Guard in Guiuan town received a call from personnel of the Emir Mineral Resource Corp., where the nickel ore was originally loaded, that a team onboard MT Victor 1 was on their way to rescue the vessel.
At around 4 a.m., all the 21-crew members of MV Ambition Journey, including its captain Zhan Linquin, were rescued and transported to the main town where they were given food.
All the Chinese crew have to undergo a 14-day quarantine as part of the COVID-19 protocols.
All foreigners were brought to a facility located in Barangay Cogon.
The vessel is owned by QC International Shipping Ltd and is managed by Global Maritime Services PTE Ltd.
The Coast Guard is conducting an investigation on the incident and will determine whether or not there was an oil spill in the area.
Daipen Montes of the Homonhon Environment Rescuers Association (HERO) was alarmed by the presence of Chinese nationals on their island town especially during this time of the pandemic.
“We hope our government will do something about this. This only adds to our concern. We have been fighting for the presence of the mining companies which resulted in the destruction of our natural resources and environment,” Montes said in a phone interview.
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