A storm off the Philippines caused a ship grounding incident in Antique yesterday morning which claimed one casualty, local authorities reported. The 18 other seafarers involved in the incident are reported safe.
The Philippines Coast Guard’s investigation revealed that M/Tug Benny and its towing barge Brian took shelter at the vicinity waters of Barangay Balud, Tobias, Antique as Tropical Depression Seniang battered the Visayas region. Both vessels drifted toward the shoreline due to strong winds and waves.
Twelve crew members from Barge Brian were able to swim towards the shoreline while the remaining seven crew of M/Tug Benny transferred to the barge waiting for rescue, the coast guard said.
Upon receiving a VHF call from barge master Dillio S. Rubite, the personnel of Coast Guard Station (CGS) San Jose de Buenavista immediately proceeded at the area to conduct rescue operation. The SAR team found the vessels aground 25 meters apart approximately 50 meters off the shoreline.
The seven crewmembers left onboard Brian were rescued and brought to the nearest medical facility. One crewman did not survive, however.
Barge Brian was loaded with 6,705 metric tons of coal and was towing M/Tug Benny from Semirara Island to Toledo, Cebu when the incident occurred.