9 crew members rescued from half-sunken motorboat off Batangas

File photo of motorboat Hasta Lavista (Courtesy of Philippine Coast Guard)

A motorboat carrying nine crew members went half-submerged after being battered by big waves and strong wind off Malabrigo Point in San Juan, Batangas on Friday night, Dec. 22.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said all crew members of motorboat "Hasta Lavista" were rescued in the vicinity waters of Barangay Laiya.

According to an investigation, Hasta Lavista departed Dinagat Island in Surigao on Dec. 20 en route to Calatagan, Batangas. The 35-ton vessel was intended for passenger operations.

However, the boat's outrigger sustained damage due to adverse sea condition which caused a portion of it to sink after enduring the rough sea condition for two days.

Danish-flagged vessel MV Ocean Dependable spotted the crew members clinging into the half-sunken vessel and rescued them around 10 p.m. of Dec. 22.

Personnel of the Coast Guard District Southern Tagalog also responded and helped in the evacuation of the crew, who were found to be in good physical condition.

Meanwhile, the boat was abandoned by the skipper of Hasta Lavista as it could not be towed to shore due to the strong waves.

The PCG district in Southern Tagalog said a "notice to mariners" has been issued for them to be wary of a half-sunken boat in the area.

"CGS [Coast Guard Station] Batangas has alerted nearby sub-stations to be vigilant for possible drifting of the boat, urging immediate reporting of any sightings," the PCG said.

"CGSS [Coast Guard Sub-Station] Lobo will conduct a surface search in the area to locate the boat for retrieval due to navigation hazards. They will also notify transiting motorbancas in the Lobo, Batangas, to Calapan, Mindoro route for possible sightings," it added.