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Coast guard says refloating of capsized ship in 45 days

/ 06:50 AM April 01, 2013

The Philippine Coast Guard has given the salvor company hired to salvage MV Maria Angelica Grace that capsized last March 11 in the Cabahug wharf 45 days to complete its work.

The salvaging work on the ill-fated ship involves siphoning 8,000 liters of diesel from the ship’s fuel tank and the refloating of the ship.

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According to Commander Winiel Azcuna, chief of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Cebu Station, the Uni Orient Pearl Venture Inc. had submitted a comprehensive salvage plan and that they are giving the salvor company 45 days to complete its work.

Azcuna did not give specific time lines, like the time needed to siphon the ship’s fuel, which continues to pose risk of an oil spill.

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“Their plan is to siphon the oil first and then later to refloat the vessel,” Azcuna said.

He added, “After the siphoning of the oil, the vessel will be turned upright.”

The owner of the vessel, Rapal Shipping Lines, wanted the MV Maria Angelica Grace refloated intact.

Last week, the salvor company started their operations by placing their equipment and their divers inspecting the capsized ship.

But due to the observance of Holy Week, the operations stopped and will resume today.

The salvage operations of the Uni Orient Pearl Venture Inc. will be closely monitored by the PCG said Azcuna.

Aside from the salvage operation in Cabahug wharf, the Uni Orient Pearl Venture Inc. is also doing salvage salvage work on the tugboat Joma and a barge that capsized about 10 meters away from Malapascua Island last February.

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Tugboat Joma was already refloated while the barge which was loaded with cement is still to be refloated. /Jucell Marie P. Cuyos, Reporter

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TAGS: capsized, MV Maria Angelica Grace, Philippine Coast Guard
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