Probe: Overloading, rough seas sank tanker

September 12, 2006

By Joel E. Zurbano

OVERLOADING and bad weather caused the sinking of the Solar I tanker that resulted in the country’s worst oil spill, a member of the Special Board of Marine Inquiry said.

“Those are my personal findings based on the testimonies given to us during the hearings. Other board members have different individual conclusions, but in the end the same result will come out,” said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

He said the board’s findings and recommendations had been submitted to the Department of Transportation and Communications, but he declined to say who would face charges for creating the environmental disaster off Guimaras Island.

“Secretary [Leandro] Mendoza will announce this,” the official said. “He created the [board] so he will be the one who will give you the full details.”

Investigation showed that during the voyage, the tanker listed about five to seven degrees to starboard side when it encountered rough seas associated with the southwest monsoon while en route to its destination.

(For the full story, click Overloading, Sept. 13, 2006.)


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