Philippines: 4 dead, 9 missing from wayward cargo vessel

Philippines: 4 dead, 9 missing from wayward cargo vessel

Philippines Wayward Vessel
The cargo vessel LCT Cebu Great Ocean aground along the shoreline of Barangay Cantapoy, Malimono, Surigao del Norte, southern Philippines on Monday Apr 19, 2021. (Photo: Philippine Coast Guard via AP)

MANILA: Rescuers in the southern Philippines found the bodies of four crew members on Wednesday (Apr 21) and rescued seven others who jumped off a cargo vessel, which took in water and listed after its anchor broke in rough seas, officials said.

Nine other crew members of the LCT Cebu Great Ocean remain missing. The coast guard and maritime police were continuing a search off Surigao del Norte province, where the vessel ran aground without its crew, coast guard spokesman Commodore Armand Balilo said.

The vessel, which had a crew of 20 and was loaded with nickel ore and about 2,000 liters (530 gallons) of diesel fuel, had dropped anchor off Jabonga town in nearby Agusan del Norte. But it snapped in rough seas on Monday and the vessel took in water and started to list, Balilo said.

“It was during this time when they declared `abandon ship’ and jumped off,” a coast guard report said.

READ: 20 crew missing after Philippine ship runs aground in typhoon

The abandoned vessel drifted and ran aground more than 60km from where it was anchored.

The coast guard asked passing ships to be on the lookout for the missing crew.

A strong typhoon has left at least three people dead, displaced more than 169,000 in eastern provinces and roughed up weather elsewhere in the archipelago in recent days although it did not reach inland.

The weather had been rough in the area due to Typhoon Surigae, which brought winds that reached 195 kmh, with its effects felt in many parts of the eastern Philippines.

Disaster officials reported on Wednesday that three people had died and 10 were injured and one missing, in communities hit by strong winds, while tens of thousands remained in evacuation centres.

The Philippines sees around 20 tropical storms annually. 

Source: Agencies