The US military has offered to help the Philippines in tackling a tanker oil spill in Oriental Mindoro.

The 1,100-dwt tanker Princess Empress (built 2022) sank off the coast of the Philippines with 800,000 litres of oil onboard on 28 February after being hit by mechanical problems and heavy weather.

The Presidential Communications Office said the Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will work with the US military, which has offered its support, on clearing up the spill.

Local residents around Oriental Mindoro have been told to avoid fishing, while there are reports that several miles of coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass may be affected by the oil pollution.

According to local reports, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources has indicated 11,000 people working in the fishing industry in Oriental Mindoro have been affected by the oil spill.

Booms have been placed around the wreck site and other efforts are being made to contain the spill.

The incident is likely to run up substantial claims but the vessel does appear to be fully insured.

The ship is listed as controlled by Reield Marine Services based in Manila, with its protection and indemnity insurance placed with the Shipowners’ Club, which is a member of the International Group of P&I Clubs.

The London-based International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) Funds has also been studying the case to evaluate if it is eligible to be included in its oil pollution compensation scheme.