Nine crew members of a cargo vessel were rescued by members of the Philippine Coast Guard when their ship ran aground off Calapan sea in Oriental Mindoro Friday evening, coastguard official said.
Lieutenant Junior Grade Christopher Domingo identified the survivors as ship captain Diony Saludes and crew Chris Moral, Vladimir Ledesma, Reymar Sagun, Jun-Jun Belmonte, Joseph Cuato, Mark Anthony Clavio, Wilberto Alegria and Henry Dela Cruz.
According to report, the victims were onboard the M/V Arayat heading toward Marinduque from Bulalacao town when the front part of their ship collapsed, and water started to sip in at around 8:00 p.m.
Domingo said Saludes decided to bring his vessel in a shallow part of the sea, a few nautical miles away from Dumali Point in Pola, Oriental Mindoro.
“Pinasayad na lang niya ang barko nila para hindi tuluyang lumubog at masagip ang laman nito,” Domingo told ABS-CBN News.
He said the cargo vessel contains 1,500 sacks of salt and 50 sacks of pebbles.
Domingo said the crew abandoned ship and boarded their service boat that drifted near Silonay Island.
“Hindi sila makalapit sa isla kasi sobrang lakas ng mga alon at malalaki ang bato ng daungan kaya na-rescue namin sila na palutang-lutang sa dagat,” Domingo said.
They were rescued after one of the crew was able to text a relative in Calapan City, who in turn, informed the coast guard about the incident.
Members of the Calapan coast guard immediately conducted a rescue operation on Friday night. However, it was suspended because of strong waves and it was already getting dark. They assumed operations early Saturday morning and rescued the seafarers around 6:00 a.m.
The seamen were brought to the Calapan coast guard station and given food and water. They also underwent medical check-up.
Coast guard officials have yet to salvage the ill-fated vessel.
Date: October 30, 2011 Source: abs-cbnnews.com