Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Navy rescues 62 from troubled ship

By Bong Garcia
Sun Star, Tuesday, August 30, 2011

NAVY personnel rescued 67 passengers and crew of a wooden-hull vessel drifting lifelessly off Tawi-Tawi province on Thursday, an official said.

Commodore Armando Guzman, Naval Forces Western Mindanao's (NFWM) Task Force 62 commander, said M/L Virginia was four hours "dead on water" before rescue teams arrived.

He said the vessel was bound for Tawi-Tawi's capital of Bongao when its engine conked out. The vessel crew made the distress call 4-8 nautical miles off pangasinan, Simunul,Tawi-Tawi.

After receiving the distress call, NFWM dispatched Patrol Ship-19 (PS-19) to conduct search and rescue operation, Guzman said.

M/L Virginia was listing on its left side and passengers were anxiously waiting for help when the PS-19 arrived, he said.

Crewmembers said M/L Virginia's main engine incurred technical problem after t he vessel left Sipangkot Island, Guzman said.

He said the PS-19 personnel led by Commander Ernesto Baldovino immediately rendered necessary assistance to the vessel particularly on the basic needs of the passengers.

Guzman said the PS-19 towed M/L Virginia and arrived safely at Lamion Pier in Bongao municipality.

Of the rescued 60 passengers, 28 were male adult, 20 female adult, five male children and seven female children, Guzman said.


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