ITOPF arrived on scene in Mindoro on 1 March to assist in the response to the fuel oil spill from the sunken tanker PRINCESS EMPRESS. ITOPF remains on-scene with team members working in rotation to conduct shoreline and aerial surveys, inform responders on the fate and behaviour of oil at-sea to plan operations effectively, recommending suitable clean-up techniques and methods of waste disposal, and advising on environmental and socio-economic impacts.
Following ITOPF’s initial assessments, it provided a draft clean-up plan to the authorities and international clean-up contractors were mobilised to site with specialist cleaning equipment. The level of response ITOPF advised is aimed at mitigating impacts from the spill taking into consideration the areas affected, the sensitive shoreline ecosystems, and the isolated nature of some locally impacted communities.
Clean-up is ongoing at-sea close to the sinking location, and along affected shorelines of Oriental Mindoro and Semirara Island. ITOPF is tracking the movements of oil at-sea with aerial surveillance, satellite imagery analysis and drift modelling, whilst conducting daily shoreline surveys and liaising closely with the authorities and clean-up contractors on the dynamic clean-up plans.
More information about the incident may be found at the following page: www.princessempressinformationcentre.com