The all Filipino crew of the grounded Belle Rose have told investigators they were taking evasive action to avoid smashing into fishing vessels, explaining how their bulker came to smash into 2.4 hectares of pristine coral reef in a popular diving site in the central Philippines early on Monday morning.
The ship, which is still stuck off northern Cebu, has not leaked any oil yet. Greenpeace has demanded the Japanese owner of the ship pay for any damages to the area, which is a shark sanctuary, before the vessel is allowed to leave.
The provincial government is looking into filing of lawsuit against ship’s manager, Sunship Management, and its Manila counterpart, Alpha Shipmanagement Corp.
Salvage operations are set to begin today starting with the unloading of the ship’s cargo of cement.