LEGAZPI CITY: Two persons were killed and 13 others went missing while 4 passengers were rescued after the MV Lady of Mount Carmel sank in the waters off Masbate on Friday before dawn.
The casualties were identified as Carlota Zena, 59, of Baleno town and Erlinda Julbitado, both from Masbate province.
Bernardo “Raffy” Alejandro, Office of Civil Defense director in Bicol told The Manila Times that the MV Lady of Mount Carmel—operated by Cebu City-based Medallion Shipping Lines—capsized at the vicinity of Claveria, Burias Island, Masbate before dawn on June 14, 2013.
The MV Lady of Mount Carmel, a roll-on-roll-off (Roro) vessel, departed the port of Pioduran town in Albay, at about 2:20 a.m. on June 14 with 66 passengers on board two air-conditioned buses of Isarog Lines and one six-wheeler Isuzu truck and 22 crewmen.
The engine reportedly stopped about one nautical mile off the lighthouse in Barangay Penafrancia, Burias Island.
Subsequently big waves hammered the vessel and the ropes that tied the buses and the truck loosened causing the vehicles to slide to one side. The lopsided weight of the three vehicles caused the vessel to lean to its side and subsequently sink.
A certain Captain Laurio Mateo immediately sent a distress call to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) station in Masbate as well as the Naval Forces for Southern Luzon (Navforsol) seeking immediate assistance.
Commodore Manuel Natalio Abinuman, Navforsol commanding officer, immediately instructed the command’s unit in Pasacao, Camarines Sur and Masbate to send its floating assets in the area for immediate rescue operation.
Alejandro and the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office also sent search and rescue teams to the area.
Alejandro also requested helicopters from Camp Aquinaldo to assist the disaster responders on the ground.
The government mobilized four helicopters which included a Volco chopper of the PCG, Philippine Navy Islander and Philippine Air Force air assets to the area.
The local government units of Claveria and Aroroy also deployed motorized boats and fishing boats to conduct a rescue mission.
The survivors were taken to the Aroroy Hospital in Aroroy town in Masbate for treatment.
The partial list of the survivors released by the OCD Bicol included Cpt. Mateo Gregorio, KV Menendez, Meilvin Plasa, Jode Cosido, John Vico, Charlie Baldos, Jomar Mobale, Brian Pero, Jolandi Reymond, Mulbert Codillo, Nobelito Gomez, Recto Topel, Noel Agbayani, Al Tamayo, Danilo Agbayani, Gilbert Bongon, Benjamin Binesal, Domingo Tayoto.