LUNA, La Union: A cargo ship bearing a Singaporean flag, sank off the coast of Darigayos, Luna town in La Union at the height of the continuous monsoon rains in the Ilocos Region on Friday.
Strong waves swept the ship to the seacoast of Barangay Vical in Santa Lucia because of heavy downpour at dawn of Saturday.
The ship, bulk carrier Alam Manis with 21 Filipino crew on board and was on its way to the San Fernando City Seaport and was expected to arrive at 5 p.m. on Friday July 17, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported.
According to PCG, it was last docked in Lianyungang, China before sailing to the Philippines.
The accident was first reported to the San Fernando-based PCG at 10:22 p.m. on Friday.
Office of Civil Defense Chairman Melchito Castro reported that the wife of one of the crew members, Noemi Adelante of Iloilo City, reported the incident to the PCG when she received a call from her husband, Ruben, who told her that their ship was sinking.
One casualty was also reported by the La Union Police Provincial Office and was identified as Henry Liboon, a chief mate. He reportedly drowned after the ship ran aground due to big waves.
Liboon’s remains was retrieved by along with the crew by the Salvis Count tugboat.
It was later learned that the vessel came from Singapore loaded with nickel ore that weighed at least 31,238 tons.
Kagawad Raymund Sanchez of barangay Vical said the vessel would surely affect their fishing livelihood. He added that the area where the ship sank is a marine sanctuary.