Derelict freighter aground in Penghu Islands identified, leaking oil

An unmanned ship that ran aground in the Penghu Islands yesterday, was identified as the Philippine-registered HM FOUNDATION, but the last-registered owner has claimed that the ship has been sold, and did not disclose who currently owns it.

Coast Guard officers boarded the vessel today and confirmed that there was no crew onboard. A large amount of water was present in the cargo hold, and some oil was leaking from the ship. The Coast Guard Administration dispatched three boats to place oil booms around the ship to prevent ecological damage in the South Penghu Marine National Park area.

The Port Bureau assisted in contacting the last-registered owner of the vessel. Records show that the ship was purchased by the Philippine-based owner from China in 2014. The most recent record of the ship visiting Taiwan was when it refueled at the Port of Kaohsiung in 2015.

The South Taiwan Maritime Affairs Office of the Maritime and Port Bureau will hold an emergency meeting tomorrow with the Ocean Committee, Coast Guard Administration, and the South Penghu Marine National Park office to discuss follow-up measures.

The HM FOUNDATION is a 4,291 gross-tonnage bulk carrier manufactured in Korea in 1991. Ownership and the name of the ship has changed several times since it was built, and it has previously flown the flags, of Panama, Togo, and China.

ship aground on rocks Xiji Island
Ship aground on Xiji Island, South Penghu Marine National Park.
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