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Remotely operated underwater vehicle to help locate sunken oil tanker

The owner of MT Princess Empress has announced it would deploy a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) to help locate the sunken vessel and contain the impact of the oil spill.

In a statement, RDC Reield Marine Services (RDC), said the ROV "Hakuyo" is now en route to the Philippines from Japan onboard its mother vessel, the workboat Shin Nichi Maru.

The ROV is expected to arrive on Monday, March 20, 2023 to start operations.

"The ROV and its mother vessel were contracted by RDC sometime last week after an extensive search for all available options," the company said.

Upon arrival in the country, the ROV will be deployed to confirm the location of the vessel, which is thought to be at a depth of 400 meters in an area approximately 15 kilometers northeast of Mindoro.

"Once the Princess Empress is found, the ROV will conduct visual surveys of the vessel, recorded on video, to help determine the structural condition of the wreck and check for any ongoing oil leaks," RDC said.

"Experts will then assess these surveys to determine further options to address any leaks and remove any remaining cargo." it added.

The MT Princess Empress sank on February 28, carrying 800,000 liters of industrial fuel. Oil spills were reported in several areas in Mindoro, prompting the coastal town of Pola to declare a state of calamity.—Sherylin Untalan/Sandra Aguinaldo/LDF, GMA Integrated News