Nine crew members of a motorbanca were rescued from a nearly nine-hour ordeal after their vessel encountered a sea mishap off Zamboanga del Norte on Friday, Dec. 2, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.
The PCG identified the rescued individuals as Henry Burong, 35; Diego Burong, 35; Surafi Anapi, 43; Benjar Luntian, 42; Isa Musa, 42; Aldamer Alih, 30; Boy Saguile, 27; Bader Barahim, 43; and Magno Dalawis, 52. All of them are residents of Zamboanga City.
According to PCG, the victims were on their way to Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte from Hasiiman Tanjung, Jolo, Sulu when their motorbanca was damaged due to “bad weather and rough sea condition.”
“They accidentally hit a hard object that damaged the wooden hull, causing seawater to enter the motorbanca,” the PCG said in a report on Sunday, Dec. 4.
The half-submerged banca drifted towards the vicinity waters of Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte until the PCG received a distress call around 3 a.m.
Forty minutes later, the PCG established communication with the crew and their location was finally identified.
The PCG coordinated with MV Empress Amy, a cargo ship near the area, to immediately conduct search and rescue operations.
The operation lasted for eight hours until the crew were rescued around 11:40 a.m., the PCG said. The crew were brought to the nearest shoreline and examined.
The crew were released at 4:32 a.m. and allowed to return to their homes after the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) of Liloy confirmed they were all in “good physical condition.”
Meanwhile, MV Empress Amy towed the distressed motorbanca to Lamao Port in Liloy for proper disposition.