By Betheena Unite
All 63 passengers and crew of a vessel that encountered sea mishap off Sibonga, Cebu were rescued Thursday afternoon, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.
A total of 53 passengers and 10 crew members were successfully found and rescued from the distressed vessel, MV Siargao Princess, as of Thursday afternoon, Captain Armand Balilo, Coast Guard spokesman said.
MV Siargao Princess left Loon, Bohol at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. It suddenly encountered big waves when it was three to five nautical miles away from Sibonga, Cebu. The captain of the vessel immediately issued a distress call when water started to get into the vessel.
According to Antonio Conag, the vessel’s captain, when the vessel turned towards Sibonga going against the sea swell of 1.5 meters in height, the front hatch cover of the vessel was detached which caused water to ingress into the vessel. This made the vessel dip on its front and eventually capsize.
Multi-role response vessel BRP Suluan, as well as small crafts and rescue teams, were promptly deployed in the area to conduct search and rescue operations. A medical team was also dispatched to the site, the Coast Guard said.
“All accounted now. Sixty-three survivors out of 53 pax and 10 crew onboard for total of 63. Fifty-nine of them are now onboard MRRV 4406 en route to Cebu Port, while four are already at the shoreline of Carcar safely. (There are) no deaths and no missing (persons),” Commodore Ronie Gavan, commander of Coast Guard Central Visayas, said after the search and rescue mission.
The PCG will conduct an investigation, Gavan added.