The Maria Angelica Grace, a cargo ship carrying rice, sugar, and five large trucks stocked with construction materials and furniture, sank off the coast of Mandaue City in the Philippines at around 9:46 p.m. on March 11. According to philstar.com, a local news source, the vehicles were arranged unevenly, causing one of them to tilt and sink and the entire vessel to ultimately capsize.
Fortunately, Captain Wilson Dieta and his crew of 18 were able to get off the boat before it went down, and no one was injured during the incident. Dieta, who took command of the ship in February, told the source that he never expected the weight of one of the trucks to have such a significant effect on the entire watercraft.
In addition to the cargo it was carrying, the boat also had in tow 8,000 liters of crude oil, which Dieta and a team from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) that responded to the distress call immediately began making efforts to contain.
"We are looking for a salvor to refloat the ship and have the crude oil siphoned first to avoid more oil leaks," Dieta said.
Fortunately, according to Sun.Star, another Philippines news site, the incident didn't pose an immediate threat to the environment, as the oil appeared to be confined within the vessel.
With the number of risks that come with owning and operating a commercial watercraft, many boat owners and organizations turn to marine insurance providers that can help them find the best rates and ensure that they are covered in the case of an accident. These professionals can advise them to purchase vessel pollution coverage, for example, which is a relatively inexpensive insurance for something that can be very costly to deal with when a claim happens.