An aerial photo of the MV Forever Lucky stuck on a sandbar in the waters of Cagayancillo since January 7, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Coast Guard District Palawan)
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Environment authorities brought by the Coast Guard District Palawan (CGDP) recently to Cagayancillo were unable to go aboard the MV Forever Lucky to do damage assessment due to the prevailing bad sea condition but they no longer detected any oil leak, an official said Thursday.

Ensign Allison Tindog, CGDP spokesperson, said Thursday that technical experts from their Marine Environmental Protection Unit (MEPU) were prevented to check the vessel’s engine room and make assessments by the strong winds and wave surges in the Sulu Sea due to the northeast monsoon.

“Hindi sila nakalapit man lang kasi talagang malakas ang hangin at ang alon. Pero wala ng oil leak na na-detect mula sa barko kasi nga hindi naman persistent oil iyon. Para makasiguro, kumuha na din sila ng water samples para ma-test at malaman kung meron pa ba,” Tindog told Palawan News.

(They were unable to even go near the ship because winds and waves are still strong. But they no longer detected any oil leak from the vessel since it’s not really persistent oil. To make, they took water samples for testing to determine if there’s still oil leak or no more.)

He said eight water samples were taken by the MEPU technical people from the ship’s port bow (front left side), the starboard bow (front right side), the port quarter (left rear), and the starboard quarter (right rear).

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A “control sample” was also taken one kilometer away from MV Forever Lucky, he said, to become their basis in determining the water quality in the surrounding area of the vessel.

These water samples will be sent to the Marine Environment and Research Development Center (MERDC) for testing.

“The results of the water testing might be available after a week,” he said.

On extrication, Tindog said the “surveyor ship hired by Fahrenheit Company Limited (FCL), the operator of the cruise vessel,” is also still unable to go to the area because of the uncooperative weather.

The cruise ship which recently figured in a human smuggling issue ran aground in the waters off Barangay Nusa, Cagayancillo on January 7.


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has been with Palawan News since January 2019. She is its managing editor, overseeing and coordinating day-to-day editorial activities. Her writing interests are politics and governance, health, defense, investigative journalism, civic journalism, and the environment.