Operation to drain oil from sunken 2GO vessel starts | Inquirer News

Operation to drain oil from sunken 2GO vessel starts

/ 12:23 AM September 13, 2013

FISHERMEN help in preventing the spread of oil from the MV St. Thomas Aquinas, owned by the company 2GO, which sank after a collision with the cargo ship Sulpicio Express Siete, killing more than 100 people and sending oil contaminating the shores of at least two Cebu towns. TONEE DESPOJO/CEBU DAILY NEWS

CEBU CITY, Philippines—The operation to drain oil from the sunken MV St. Thomas Aquinas has started almost a month after the vessel sank following a collision with Sulpicio Express Siete, a cargo ship.

Technical divers from Malayan Towage and Nippon Salvage Co. began the siphoning operations.


Noel Kimmayong, of the Malayan Towage and Nippon Salvage Co. commissioned by the firm that owned the Thomas Aquinas, 2GO, said workers hoped to drain all the oil from the sunken ship by Sept. 28.


He said at a management meeting at the capitol on Tuesday that workers would drill holes on each of the ship’s 11 tanks. They would then weld what he called connection points, pump out oil and transfer the oil to a barge.

The holes would be sealed after the fuel had been removed.

Kimmayong, however, said workers wouldn’t immediately know how much oil had already leaked out of the sunken vessel and how much is still inside it.

At least 50,000 liters of oil leaked out of Thomas Aquinas, spreading to at least 328 hectares of mangroves in Cordova town and parts of Lapu-Lapu City.

The oil slick displaced at least 5,000 fishermen in Cordova town who had to stop fishing since their catch was covered with oil.

Thomas Aquinas was entering the port of Cebu when it collided with Sulpicio Express Siete of Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corp. (formerly Suplicio Lines) in the waters off Talisay City on Aug. 16.


At least 115 passengers were killed and 22 remained missing. The passenger vessel contained 20,000 liters of diesel, 120,000 liters of bunker fuel and 20,000 liters of lube oil when it sank.

Lt. Gen. Roy Deveraturda, Armed Forces Central Command chief, said retrieval operations for the missing passengers would continue although fewer dives would be conducted.

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He said technical divers from the Philippine Navy, the Philippine National Police, the Coast Guard and civilian volunteers had explored the entire vessel except for the bottom part which is considered “dangerous” for divers.

TAGS: 2go, Cebu towns, sea collision, sea mishap

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