Ship made emergency docking due to ‘Agaton’
CATARMAN, Northern Samar – Nine foreigners on board a Chinese-registered cargo vessel were rescued off the waters of Pambujan, this province, on Tuesday (January 2).
The cargo ship, Jin Ming No.16, was said to be on its way to Chile when it encountered heavy rains and strong winds spawned by tropical storm ‘Agaton,’ forcing it to have an emergency docking 300 meters away from the shorelines of Barangay Poblacion 2 of Pambujan.
The ship made a distress call which was received by the local police which immediately conducted its rescue operations at about 12:30 pm, said S/Supt. Felix Diloy, police provincial director.
The rescued passengers were identified as Hans Febie; Xu Xi; Yin Yui Q Jin; Lu Wei Long; Chen Xin Chuen; Lun Xi Long; Wunens Jin and Ho Sai Cheong.
One of the rescued Chinese nationals was not identified by Diloy as his name was written in Chinese.
Diloy said that the Pambujan police received a distress call from the Chinese registered cargo vessel which immediately conducted its rescue operation after assessing the safety of the waters.
Joining the six-hour rescue operation were members of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO), Philippine Coast Guard, Provincial Mobile Force Company 2nd Mobile Platoon and the Red Cross- Northern Samar chapter.
The rescued crew members were immediately brought to the rural health unit of Pambujan for a medical checkup and were made to stay at the residence of Mayor Felipe Sosing.
The Philippine Army’s 20th Civil Military Operations (CMO) Battalion reported that the ship was severely damaged.
“Said vessel sustained severe damage on its bottom portion which is the entry point of sea waters that gradually submerged the vessel in more or less 350-400 meters”, the report said.
Diloy said he has ordered a thorough investigation on the foreign ship and the rescued crew as it was possible that they are not ordinary fishermen.
He added that based on their interview to one of the crew member, the ship left China on December 12 going to Chile to buy some goods.
While on their way, their ship was battered by huge waves which resulted in the rupture of its hull and eventually the seawaters flooded the compartments and the engine room causing the engine to conk out.
Their ship drifted towards the municipal waters of Pambujan when the Coast Guard received a distress call from them.
The ship was loaded with 100 packs (cartons) of alcoholic beverages.
(RACHEL V. ARNAIZ)