Heroic Maritime Rescues Off Ilocos Norte


Sixteen foreign crew members of a distressed chemical tanker have been rescued by a Hong Kong-flagged container ship off Ilocos Norte over the weekend, says an article published on manilla bulletin website.

Commendations From The Philippine Coast Guard

In a daring maritime rescue operation off Badoc Island in Ilocos Norte, the crew of Hong Kong-flagged container ship MV Sheng An demonstrated acts of heroism. The vessel successfully saved 13 Indonesians and three Chinese crew members from the distressed chemical tanker MT King Rich on November 18, 2023. Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Commandant Adm.

Ronnie Gil Gavan lauded the crew’s commitment, determination, and coordination, emphasizing the exemplary service led by Captain Zhang Xiayo.

Critical Moments And Environmental Responsibility

The MT King Rich encountered a crisis when its propeller shaft broke, allowing seawater to flood the engine room. Acting swiftly, the crew abandoned the ship, ensuring the safety of the engine, gasoline tank, and the absence of chemical cargo leaks.

MV Sheng An spotted the crew on a life raft approximately 81 nautical miles west, northwest of Badoc Island, effecting a successful rescue around 5 p.m. The rescued crew, transported to Subic Port in Zambales on November 19, were reported to be in good physical condition.

Ongoing Efforts And Coordination

While the rescued crew is safe, the PCG’s Coast Guard Aviation Force conducted an aerial survey on November 20 to assess the distressed chemical tanker’s status, still floating near Badoc Island. PCG spokesperson Rear Adm. Armando Balilo confirmed active coordination with the shipping company for the towing of MT King Rich, underscoring the ongoing commitment to maritime safety.

Young Fisherman’s Valor, Rescuing Comrades off Candelaria, Zambales

Recognition For Jhonny Marag’s Vigilance

In a separate instance showcasing courage at sea, the PCG recognized the bravery of 21-year-old fisherman Jhonny Marag. After a week-long search, Marag successfully rescued fellow fisherfolk who went missing following a failed fishing activity off Candelaria, Zambales.

The Struggle At Sea

The crew of fishing boat (FB) Pepito 3, including skipper Edgar Bejar, his son Jake, son-in-law Melchor Molato, and crew member Arnel Morano, faced adversity after their motorbanca’s engine malfunctioned during a fishing activity on November 9. Declared missing on November 10, the PCG and local government officials launched joint search and rescue operations.

Marag, a resident of Barangay Sinabacan in Candelaria, spotted the distressed fishermen approximately 40 nautical miles off Candelaria on November 15, guided by a smoke signal.

Survival Against Odds

Bejar recounted days coasting along the deserted sea, battling strong winds and waves, and surviving on melted ice to preserve the fish they caught. Their endurance was marked by desperation, but Marag’s timely intervention brought them back to safety.

The rescued fishermen were transported from Candelaria to Infanta, Pangasinan, underscoring the community and government collaboration in maritime safety efforts.

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Source: manilla bulletin