LIMAY, Bataan: A cargo boat crew died while five were rescued, leaving five others missing from the ill-fated vessel that burned and sank off the sea between Corregidor Island in Cavite and Mariveles in Bataan, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported on Tuesday night.
Lieutenant Carlos Victor Carlos, CG–Bataan station chief, said a fisherman rescued MV Virginia I Captain Ronald Garcia, 54, and three of his crew – Luis Madla, 60; Jun-Jun Manalo, 33 and Ian Badayos, 22, along the Mariveles waters.
The four were brought to the Mariveles CG sub-station and later turned over to Bataan station in Lamao, Limay town where Philippine Red Cross personnel treated their minor wounds.
“They’re still in trauma but they’re OK. They requested not to be interviewed,” Carlos said.
He said he received a report that one unnamed crew was saved by a fisherman from Batangas and turned over to the Calatagan (Batangas) CG sub-station.
Carlos said the boat skipper reported that a crew, Sonny Ruado, 50, has died as he was not able to survive the strong and big waves.
The fatality was left in the sea with the body tied to a floating empty container, he said.
Carlos said they were still investigating the cause of the fire although the boat captain hinted that it was due to faulty electrical wiring.
“No signs of oil spill,” he said.
He said they received a distress call at 2:45 a.m. when the vessel was at the vicinity of La Monja Island in Cavite.
Three CG teams from Mariveles, Limay and Corregidor responded but were met by strong waves and asked assistance from the main headquarters that dispatched two bigger search and rescue boats.
Carlos said the two boats continued the search for the missing crews in the Cavite and Batangas areas.
MV Virginia I was a cargo vessel made of wood known as batil. It regularly plied the route from Manila to Palawan bringing with it general cargo.
It was bound for Palawan with a boat captain and 10 crews when the accident happened at the route passed by international vessels. ERNIE B. ESCONDO