Passing cargo ship rescues 5 crew off coast of Calapan City

CALAPAN CITY, Oriental Mindoro – Five crew members of a small vessel that was bound for Batangas from Romblon were rescued by a passing cargo ship when their boat was partly submerged due to rough seas off the coast of Calapan City last Thursday.

Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Oriental Mindoro Commander Ferdinand Allan Joseph Abinoja identified the crew members as Jose B. Recto Jr., Rodill Rico, Ian Mutia, Jober Recto and Florencio Ramo.

Commander Abinoja said that, at about 9:52 p.m. December 30, the CGS Oriental Mindoro received a distressed call from a cargo motorbanca, M/B CA Marable Line, which encountered strong winds and big waves while traveling in the vicinity of the waters off Barangay Silonay in northeast Calapan.

Jose Recto, the boat master, narrated later to PCG authorities that they were coming from Sibuyan in Romblon to pick up cargo in Sta. Clara, Batangas.

They were in Calapan area when the portside of the boat tilted, and water rapidly entered the boat’s compartments, causing the half of the vessel to start to submerge.

Abinoja immediately dispatched a search and rescue team of CGS Oriental Mindoro, together with CGS Special Operations Unit-Calapan and Marine Environment Protection Unit (MEPO)-Calapan, to rescue the crew, but failed to get them due to heavy rains and rough sea condition.

At 6 a.m. December 31, PCG coordinated with Starhorse Shipping Company to conduct search and rescue operation, but like in the first attempt, they failed to reach the distressed boat due to bad weather.

Abinoja radioed all vessels passing the area for assistance until the Cebu-registered MV Anika TV, a general cargo ship owned by Sandy Victor Shipping Corp. replied to the Coastguard’s call, and proceeded to the area where they were able to extract the five crew and brought them safely to PCG station at Calapan City Port in Barangay San Antonio.

The five suffered only minor bruises.