Unmanned Indonesian barge drifts to Sulu

By Nonoy Lacson

ZAMBOANGA CITY –A barge of Indonesian reportedly went adrift and made its way to Sulu after strong winds and huge waves hit it while anchored at a port in Indonesia early this month.

Pata, Sulu (Wikipedia / MANILA BULLETIN)
Pata, Sulu (Wikipedia / MANILA BULLETIN)

Philippine Coast Guard South Western Mindanao (PCG-SWM) Commander Commodore Joseph Coyme Wednesday said patrolling PCG personnel found the M/B LILI VIII that ran aground at a rocky portion of Pata town in Sulu province.

Coyme said the barge was unmanned when they found it in one of the islands in Pata town, and did not have any cargo on board.

According to Coyme, the barge was anchored in one of the Indonesian port when a typhoon, coupled with strong waves and wind, hit the area.

“Last week, the Indonesian consul based in Davao City sought our help to locate the barge which could have gone adrift towards Sulu,” Coyme said.

“I immediately mobilized our personnel in the area and found the M/B LILI VIII barge in an island in the town of Pata in Sulu where he barge ran aground at a rocky section of the island,” he said.

Coyme added he immediately directed BRP Bagacay to proceed to the area to confirm the location of the barge, and provide security to the vessel.

The following day he said, K9 dogs were dispatched to the site to check the barge for any explosives or contraband, which later turned out negative.

Last Sunday, he said the barge was successfully extracted from her grounding position and towed to Zamboanga City by tug boat T/B Lucida owned by harbor star and arrived here Wednesday.

The Indonesian barge is now anchored on the shore along R.T. Lim Boulevard, awaiting for the Indonesian owner to claim it.