MANILA, Philippines >> A ship loaded with coal has run aground and destroyed an portion of reef the size of about seven basketball courts in the southern Philippines, officials said Thursday.
The Panamanian-registered MV Double Prosperity has been stuck on the Bakud reef in Sarangani Bay since Sunday, said Sarangani provincial environment officer Eduardo Saladero.
The ship was headed to India from Australia carrying 65,000 tons of coal when it ran aground about 625 miles south of Manila, Coast guard spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Algier Ricafrente.
Provincial Gov. Migs Dominguez was quoted in local reports as saying that he suspected the crew sailed close to shore to get a better television signal to watch Filipino boxer Manny Pacquaio’s 12-round victory against Sugar Shane Mosley in Las Vegas.
All 21 crew aboard the ship were Filipino, and Sarangani is Pacquiao’s home province and he is also its lone congressman.
Ricafrente said an investigation has established that the ship’s crew miscalculated it’s path and sailed into shallow waters, destroying nearly 32,300 square feet of coral.