Authorities are now conducting verification to determine the whereabouts of the 20 crew members of a cargo vessel which was found abandoned at the shoreline of Malimono, Surigao del Norte, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said on Tuesday, April 20.
In an incident report, the PCG said the cargo vessel LCT Cebu Great Ocean ran aground along the shoreline of Barangay Cantapoy, Malimono, Surigao del Norte at around 3:38 p.m. on Monday, April 19 at the height of the onslaught of typhoon ‘Bising’.
PCG spokesperson Armand Balilo said the crew members “abandon the ship” and found drifting in a life raft on Tuesday morning.
“May contact pa kaninang umaga drifting yung life raft nila. Medyo hirap lang search and rescue teams kasi malakas ang alon (There was still contact this morning that they are drifting with their life raft. Search and rescue teams are experiencing difficulties because of the huge waves,” Balilo said.
He said search and rescue operations are ongoing for the missing crew members.
According to the initial investigation, the LCT Cebu Great Ocean was loaded with nickel ore and contained approximately 2,000 liters of diesel on board.
The PCG Station Surigao del Norte deployed a response group to look for the crew members and coordinated with the Marine Environmental Protection Unit (MEPU) to conduct inspection for a possible oil spill in the vicinity waters.
The Coast Guard Station Surigao del Norte also issued a “Notice to Mariners” for possible sightings of the alleged missing crewmembers of the cargo vessel.