News / 14 May 2023

GAC Philippines praised for ‘vital role’ in survey operation

Complex task to deliver US Navy ROV

The tanker Princess Empress sank in February with a cargo of 800,000 litres of oil off the east coast of Mindoro Island in the Philippines. The oil spill and vessel survey operation that followed involved a US Navy Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). GAC Philippines was entrusted with its delivery.

Operations Manager Michael Borja says it was a complex task involving coordination with Government agencies including the ports of Subic Bay and Batangas, Customs, Quarantine and Immigration, the Coast Guard, Office of Civil Defense, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the Maritime Industry Authority.

The Hydros ROV arrived at Subic Bay Airport, where the GAC Philippines’ team received it and got it on road to Subic port. Permits and paperwork had been arranged in advance along with immigration documents for Phoenix International Holdings, the company overseeing the entire survey op.

“This operation adds to our increasing portfolio of diplomatic and naval clients,” says Michael. “While we are proud to have served the US Navy, we are equally as proud to have taken part in the survey operations of an oil spill that could have had a real impact on Philippine marine life.”

Vital role
Timothy Dwyer Gay, Phoenix International Holdings Project Manager for the operation, credits the GAC team for playing a vital role and helping to overcome roadblocks in the Philippines:

“GAC took care of our needs from day one. They always had our best interest in mind and helped every step of the way. I would absolutely use GAC again and recommend them to anybody.”

The ROV started work on 1 April. By 7 April the work was done, and the GAC team were once again charged with returning it to the United States.

Future plans
GAC Philippines has embarked on an operations expansion programme to support foreign navies and other specialised vessels, through its Bulk and Projects task force which is backed by in-house customs brokerage and delivery teams.

The company also plans to expand its port coverage to support more complex outport calls in Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, and Palawan.

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