The Government of the has requested IMO to mobilize an independent salvage expert to provide guidance on assessing the technical aspects of the salvage proposals and plans being considered in the case of the Princess of the Stars. This follows an earlier offer of any assistance and co-operation the Government might require by IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, immediately following last month’s tragic accident.
The Princess of the Stars, a ferry carrying 861 passengers and crew, went aground and sank on June 21 in the . Almost all those on board lost their lives.
IMO’s involvement follows the discovery that that the ferry was carrying various hazardous materials, in particular a 40-ft container containing 10 metric tonnes of endosulfan, a toxic pesticide. Further to an initial request from the Government of the , IMO consulted several salvage experts and consolidated relevant technical information on the salvage issue that was shared with the Philippines Government and the United Nations Country Team.
Based on the technical information provided by IMO, the Philippines Government, which is taking a hands-on role in the incident, requested IMO to urgently mobilize a competent salvage expert to assist and guide them in what is expected to be a complex salvage process, taking into account both the number of human casualties, as well as the hazardous materials on board.
IMO has mobilized Paul Glerum, a Dutch salvage master, to undertake this task.
Paul Glerum draws on more than 30 years’ salvage experience during which he has been involved in a number of high-profile salvage projects, including the raising of the , the Russian nuclear submarine that suffered an explosion and sank in the in 2000.
The Government of the has provided financial support for his deployment
Glerum departed on July 17 and arrived in on July 18 for a period of seven days. He will undertake tasks such as the review of salvage plans, provision of technical input and advice, as well as providing assistance and guidance to the Government in the salvage process.