Oil spill feared after Palawan Pearl collision off Manila

An oil spill was being feared after Philippine-flagged cargo ship MV Palawan Pearl and Cyprus-flagged dredger BKM 104 (IMO 9556935) collided last week some 100 metres from Baseco beach in the waters of the South Harbour Anchorage area in Manila, the Philippines, early on Thursday July 8th 2021 (IMN July 12th 2021, Round-up).

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said that the incident caused 345 gt Palawan Pearl, which was carrying 3,000 litres of diesel in its oil storage tank, to tilt and take on water. The ship also had on board a drum of diesel oil, 60 litres of engine oil, and 60 litres of bilge oil.

“The cargo vessel MV Palawan Pearl remains half submerged where the spread of ‘oil sheen’ is observed around it,” the PCG said, adding that a containment boom had been placed around the distressed ship. No injuries were reported as a result of the collision.

The PCG said that the Palawan Pearl had travelled from Commander’s Wharf to Baseco Compound to El Nido, Palawan. The BKM 104 was sailing in Manila Bay Anchorage area to Bulacan when the incident happened. The 375 gt BKM 104 is a foreign utility vessel contracted to perform dredging and other land development activity required for the construction of New Manila Airport.

The captain of the Palawan Pearl said that his vessel was sailing at a speed of 7 knots some 3km from the Pasig River when he noticed BKM 104 approximately 100 metres away from their port side, travelling at an estimated 10 knots.

He said that the Palawan Pearl tried to avoid the BKM 104, but the latter crashed twice into the left side of the cargo vessel and almost sank it. The multipurpose vessel reported no damages except minor damage to its paint.

2009-built, Cyprus-flagged, 375 gt BKM 104 is owned by Boskalis Westminster Shipping care of Koninklijke Boskalis Westminster NV (Royal Boskalis Westminster NV) of Papendrecht, Netherlands.