8 crewmen missing as typhoon sinks 2 RoRo vessels

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EIGHT crewmembers of a roll-on roll-off (RoRo) vessel went missing after their vessel sank off the coast of Batangas at the height of Typhoon “Nina” (international name “Nock-Ten”) on Monday, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.

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MV Starlite Atlantic, which had 22 crewmembers, sank in the waters off Tingloy, Batangas near Maricaban, after being battered by strong waves.

According to PCG, 14 crewmembers were rescued. Rescue teams were still looking for eight missing crewmembers.

The accident happened as the PCG was conducting a rescue operation for the crewmembers of another RoRo vessel—MV Shuttle Roro 5—that drifted off the waters of Mabini, Batangas on Monday morning.

MV Shuttle Roro 5 sought refuge in the area because of the typhoon, but rough waters forced the crew to
abandon ship. All 25 crewmembers were rescued.

Meanwhile, seven vessels ran aground at Puerto Galera in Mindoro Oriental, a major tourist hotspot.

The vessels were OceanJet 10, OceanJet 11, Baleno 5, Baleno 7, Baleno 8, Starlite Polaris and Starlite Bluesea.

As of 12 noon on Monday, a total of 8,732 passengers were stranded in different seaports affected by Typhoon “Nina.”

The Bicol region had the most number of stranded passengers at 5,618 passengers, followed by Southern Tagalog, 2,846; Eastern Visayas, 1,855; Central Visayas, 100; and Western Visayas, 313.

Authorities said 1,025 rolling cargoes, 30 vessels, and five motor bancas were also stuck in the ports.

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